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Pinhole Surgical Technique by San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. If you’re embarrassed by receding gums or experience discomfort due to increased sensitivity, you might hide your mouth behind your hand or refuse to grin at all. Traditional gum recession treatment, while effective, involves a painful procedure with a lengthy recovery process. Patients hesitant to undergo surgical gum grafting have had limited options for restoring a healthy smile—until now.

At San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we’re proud to offer our patients a scalpel-free and suture-free restorative gum recession treatment that provides instant cosmetic improvement with minimal downtime.

Introducing… The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique®.

What causes gum recession?

Research shows that 88% of individuals over the age of 65 have receding gums in at least one tooth. Receding gums, also known as gingival recession, is a loss of gum tissue that exposes the roots of the teeth. When these fragile roots are introduced to bacteria, plaque, and decay, patients may experience tooth sensitivity, pain, or infection. Cosmetically, receding gums makes the teeth appear longer and create the illusion of black triangles where the tooth meets the gum.

Gum recession is often caused by poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease, but receding gums can happen to people who regularly visit the dentist, too. Some have a genetic predisposition for receding gums due to tooth position and gum thickness. Others who vigorously brush their teeth or use a hard bristled toothbrush may physically wear down the gums and cause gum recession. Lip piercings, smoking and using other tobacco products, misaligned teeth, and damage caused by dental treatment are also common culprits.

What is the Pinhole Technique?

The Pinhole Technique is a scalpel-free, suture-free gum recession treatment that combines techniques from traditional restorative methods to correct receding gums. The procedure involves making tiny holes with a syringe needle to gently loosen the gum tissue and slide it over the receded part of the teeth. From here, Dr. Kwok can gently shift the gum tissue into the desired shape. After repositioning the gums, Dr. Kwok will add collagen strips to the recession sites to ensure the gums stay in the desired position during the healing process.

There is so much collagen and elastin in the gum tissue that the pinholes created are unnoticeable a day following treatment. What’s more, there is no limit to the number of teeth that can be treated in a single session. Since there is no cutting, stitching, or grafting, patients can expect minimal pain and downtime. With gentle brushing and routine dental care, the results of the Pinhole Technique will last years.

Am I a good candidate for the Pinhole Technique?

The Pinhole Technique is a quick, minimally invasive gum recession treatment designed to rejuvenate the gums and protect the sensitive tooth root.

You may be a good candidate for the Pinhole Technique if:

  • You are bothered by the appearance of receding gums
  • You have significant tooth sensitivity due to gum recession
  • You do not have periodontal disease (gum disease)
  • You are a non-smoker or are willing to quit
  • You have adequate gum tissue adjacent to receding gums

Candidates for the Pinhole Technique should be in good general health. The teeth and gums to be treated should also be healthy. An infected tooth may not benefit from gum recession treatment, and a tooth that’s loose might not serve as an adequate anchor. The best way to find out if you’re a good candidate for the Pinhole Technique is to schedule an appointment at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry.

To learn more about how to stop gum recession and restore a healthy smile with the Pinhole Technique, call us at (619) 543-0905.

Chao J. The Pinhole Surgical Technique, A Novel Approach to Root Coverage, Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2012;32:521-531.