Is Root Coverage Effective for Dentin Sensitivity?


A systematic review of the literature regarding the efficacy of surgical root coverage at reducing cervical dentin hypersensitivity in cases of gingival recession yielded nine randomized clinical trials suitable for analysis. The primary outcome included changes in pain/hypersensitivity symptoms before and after surgical treatment.


A reduction in cervical dentin hypersensitivity was reported in all studies. The mean percentage of decreased hypersensitivity was 77.83% with follow-up ranging from 3 to 30 months. The size of the effect was small in some studies and the risk of bias was considered high. None of the studies performed a correlation between hypersensitivity and percentage of root coverage.


There is not enough evidence to conclude that surgical root coverage procedures can predictably reduce sensitivity. More robust studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of surgical root coverage for the treatment of cervical dentin sensitivity.

Dr. G’s comments:

There are many painful and unpleasant consequences to dentin sensitivity including food and drink restrictions. Root coverage procedure appear to decrease sensitivity but the evidence is weak.


J Periodontol. 2013 Mar;84(3):295-306

Is surgical root coverage effective for the treatment of cervical dentin hypersensitivity? A systematic review.

Douglas de Oliveira DW1, Oliveira-Ferreira F, Flecha OD, Gonçalves PF.