Pinhole Surgery

Gum recession is not only unattractive but may also promote cavities and tooth loss. Signs of gums receding enough to uncover tooth roots include rapid yellowing of dental enamel and tooth sensitivity to cold or sugary foods. Causes of gum recession usually involve:

  • Gingivitis – gum disease characterized by bleeding and swollen gums
  • Aging – oral tissues lose fluids as we age, resulting in shrinkage
  • Overly aggressive brushing or flossing – brushing hard in a “washboard” fashion will erode gum tissue at the roots of teeth
  • Genetic predisposition to gingival recession – inheriting thin or insufficient gum tissue may cause premature gum recession
  • Bruxism – teeth-grinding while sleeping
  • Chewing tobacco and smoking

In the past, patients only had one treatment available for receding gums. Gum graft surgery uses donor tissue or removes tissue from the roof of the mouth to repair gum recession areas. Gum grafts require surgical stitches to attach tissue to existing gum tissue. Recovery time for a gum graft can be six weeks or longer, depending on the severity of gum recession.

The Pinhole Technique

Less invasive than gum graft surgery, pinhole surgery does not require stitches or lengthy recovery time. Instead, dentists specializing in the pinhole procedure simply make a tiny incision above a recessed area and then gently move gum tissue down enough to cover exposed tooth roots. Gum tissue is secured using dental graft material or collagen strips. Patients receive a local anesthetic before pinhole surgery to minimize discomfort during the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose Pinhole Surgery for Receding Gums?

No scalpels or stitches are needed to complete the pinhole technique. In most cases, multiple exposed tooth roots can be treated in one session. Recovering from pinhole surgery takes only a few days compared to several weeks of downtime associated with gum graft surgery.

What Makes Someone a Good Candidates for Pinhole Surgery?

To be eligible for this type of gum recession treatment, patients must have healthy gums, i.e., no signs of gingivitis or general gum inflammation. Any oral disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis must be resolved before the pinhole technique can be used to restore receding gums. Your dentist may need to do several teeth cleanings, prescribe antibiotics, and possibly perform a tooth extraction if periodontitis has severely damaged your oral health.

What Happens After Pinhole Surgery?

Expect to experience temporary swelling and minor bleeding for the first 72 hours after surgery. Any discomfort is usually minimal and manageable with acetaminophen. Don’t brush the treated area for at least 24 hours and avoid eating spicy, salty, or crunchy foods for 48 hours. Your Dental Beauty dentist will provide more detailed post-treatment instructions after completion of the procedure.

Will I Need "Touch-Up" Pinhole Surgery in a Few Years?

Although this technique is considered a permanent correction to gum lines, aging, over-brushing/using hard-bristled toothbrushes, and genetics may cause treated gums to begin receding again. The best way to lengthen pinhole surgery results is to practice good oral hygiene, brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss daily, and get a dental examination and cleaning every six months.

If you are interested in pinhole surgery for rejuvenating receding gums, call Dental Beauty today to schedule a consultation appointment.

Dental Beauty is now offering Pinhole Gum surgery for anyone suffering from a receding gum line. We are only the second dental office in the Philadelphia conglomerate to offer it and our specialists are trained to fix your gum line with minimal discomfort to you.

Pinhole Gum surgery was developed by Dr. Chao who now goes around teaching dentists on this procedure. Our very own Dr. Kurudimov was taught by Dr. Chao himself, and is now certified in this revolutionary procedure.

Pinhole surgery replaces traditional graft procedures to help remedy gingival gum deterioration. Gum deterioration can lead to your tooth detaching from your gum and even complete loss of teeth. Severe gum deterioration will lead to a need for dentures. What Pinhole surgery does is take away the risk and immense pain that gum grafting involves. While many dentists and orthodontists only recommend gum grafting surgery if the case is severe, with expected tooth loss imminent, pinhole surgery is far less painful and can fix the problem before it get to the point of possible tooth loss.

The procedure involves a small incision on the gum, small enough to not normally require stiches, and unlike with grafting, will not require a long and painful recovery period. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can proactively help with gum loss instead of waiting until the situation worsens.

If the patient is suffering form inflammation or periodontal disease it can result in a cancellation or delay in procedure. Additionally, after the procedure, certain types of brushing will need to be modified. Any patients who have a history of grinding their teeth will be instructed to wear a protective mouth guard.

If you have any questions or feel Pinhole Surgery may be a good fit for you, make an appointment with us by calling 1-215-703-9090.