Taking the Lead
For the patients of Bryn Mawr Periodontal Associates, as well as for members of her community, Dr. Hanh Bui Keating strives to make a lasting difference in the world.
by Bill Donahue

With every patient that comes through its doors, Bryn Mawr Periodontal Associates aims to provide superior care to improve the health and aesthetics of their teeth and gums—the architecture of the smile. Board-certified periodontist Hanh Bui Keating, D.M.D., says patients stand to gain so much more by coming to the Bryn Mawr-based practice.  

“We build up people’s self-esteem and help them overcome their challenges so they can have better oral health and better overall wellbeing,” she says. “The work we do takes a lot of effort and energy, but we’re happy to do it. It’s very rewarding.”
Since joining Bryn Mawr Periodontal Associates, which was founded in 1979 by Edward L. Woehling, D.M.D., Dr. Keating has helped the practice build on its reputation as an innovative leader in the treatment of periodontal disease. The stakes are quite high, considering the many ways in which periodontal disease can affect a person’s health. Untreated periodontal disease can cause swollen and bleeding gums, gum recession, and tooth loss, but it has also been linked to life-threatening ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Bryn Mawr Periodontal Associates has adopted several cutting-edge technology and techniques to help patients overcome their issues. For example, Dr. Keating offers the “No Cut, No Sew, No Fear” minimally invasive LANAP® procedure. She is one of a select few in the region qualified to use the PerioLase MVP-7 Dental Laser, which is the only FDA-approved laser to treat gum disease.
Patients who have had LANAP laser treatment tend to enjoy a quicker recovery time, have little to no postoperative pain, and even experience a reversal of the damaging effects of periodontal disease. Dr. Keating compares LANAP to the “new way of performing vision corrective surgery.” Many practices still use a blade as the first and only option for periodontal procedures, but a laser is now considered a kinder, gentler alternative to invasive surgery.   
“Today’s patients want options,” she adds. “While it’s true that you can perform the same work with an inexpensive surgical blade, the recovery tends to be longer and more painful. The patient must deal with sutures and cuts, whereas there is none of that with a laser.”
Patients also benefit from Bryn Mawr Periodontal Associates’ expertise in specialized procedures such as dental implants and soft-tissue grafting.
Dental implants are a permanent solution for replacing teeth that have been lost to periodontal disease and decay, among other causes, in a way that restores the aesthetics, functionality, and overall health of a patient’s smile. The two-part procedure involves the placement of an implant and the installation of a crown. The implant, which is made of either titanium or ceramic, will act as a new root for the crown to be placed upon, while each crown will be custom designed to match the color and texture of a patient’s surrounding teeth.  
With soft-tissue grafting, the treatment is ideal for patients who suffer from extensive gum recession caused by periodontal disease. This procedure, which can be performed one of three ways, can help repair the damaged area of the gums and work to prevent further tissue loss. In addition to halting the recession, grafting will better protect the roots of the teeth from decay by restoring the patient’s gum line; afterward, many patients often experience reduced sensitivity to heat and cold.
Dr. Keating also has expertise with maxillary skeletal expanders, which are orthodontic appliances used to widen the upper arch without extensive surgery. She works closely with local orthodontists to provide this service for patients, especially those who have challenging anatomy or bone density.
Investments in highly advanced perioperative technology help to ensure successful outcomes among all the procedures offered by Bryn Mawr Periodontal Associates. Dr. Keating cites two examples: intraoral cameras, which produce detailed images of the teeth and supporting structures, thereby helping patients to visualize any issues with their teeth or gums; and cone-beam computed tomography, a high-resolution imaging tool that allows for a more accurate analysis of each patient’s anatomy.
“Our practice has always been at the forefront of technology,” she adds. “Not every shiny new thing is going to serve the patient, which is why we only adopt what has proven to be successful in improving the patient experience. As updated we are with our technology, we’re continually reviewing new advances to make sure the patient has the best outcome and consistent results.”
No matter the treatment, Dr. Keating and her team make a point of getting to know patients as people, not just as patients in need of care.
“A lot of patients who come to us have had bad experiences elsewhere,” she says. “They’re very anxious when they arrive, but we show them very quickly that they are safe with us. We want patients to have the confidence to ask questions, and we take the time to make sure they understand their options [for treatment]. We give them whatever support they need to make a positive change in their lives.”
Always Improving
Dr. Keating has left an indelible mark on the community in ways apart from her practice. For example, she recently became the programming chair of the Delaware Valley Academy of Osseointegration (DVAO). The position enables her to develop a syllabus of educational opportunities regarding advancements in implantology and periodontology for the DVAO’s membership, which consists of periodontists, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and general dentists.

She also belongs to the Table 1986 club at the Union League of Philadelphia. The club, named for the year female members were permitted to join the Union League, consists of professional and entrepreneurial women who promote educational initiatives and other means of support throughout the Philadelphia area.
“Education opens the mind and opens doors for opportunities,” she says. “I was the recipient of many educational opportunities, and now I want to return the favor.”
Born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Dr. Keating came to the United States at the age of 17 in pursuit of higher education. She made history as the youngest fellow of the Vietnam Education Foundation—and the first female—to have received a full scholarship to dental school. She went on to earn her dental doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 2007, and six years later received her Certificate of Periodontology from the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry.
As she looks ahead, Dr. Keating is excited about the practice’s continued growth. She also intends to lend more support to her husband, Brendan Keating, Ph.D., a geneticist who works at the University of Pennsylvania and is now doing groundbreaking research as a member of the faculty at NYU Langone Health.  
“My goal is to continue to improve upon everything I do,” she says. “In my practice, we have a high bar, and when we meet it, we raise it. In my new role with [the DVAO], I want to strengthen the community for all my colleagues in the dental profession. Other than that, I want to be the best wife, mother, friend, teacher, and person I can be.”
Bryn Mawr Periodontal Associates
1201 County Line Road, Suite 201
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
(610) 525-8485
Photo by Jody Robinson
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life, November 2023.