Pinhole Surgical Technique
Dr. Heidi is specially trained in Pinhole Surgical Technique. Previously, gum grafting involved a painful procedure which included removing a graft from the roof of the mouth to treat recession. This new procedure allows Dr. Heidi to move the existing gums up to cover the recession, reduce sensitivity and improve aesthetics. This technique will work in most cases if the gums are healthy and there is no gum disease.
Traditional vs. Pinhole Surgical Technique:
What is gum recession?
When we lose tissue at the gumline it's called “gingival recession.” Gingival recession is a result of aging, trauma by occlusion (clenching, grinding), periodontal disease, gingivitis, periodontitis and vigorous brushing.
Why is gum recession a problem?
When gums recede, the tooth’s root becomes exposed, allowing your teeth to become temperature sensitive and vulnerable to gumline decay. Since healthy gums are a vital aspect to maintaining positive oral health, treating gingival recession is crucial for dental well-being.
What is Pinhole Surgical Technique?
Pinhole Surgical Technique is a gum procedure invented by Dr. John Chao, which is minimally invasive because no sutures or scalpels are used. Instead, Dr. Heidi will make a small hole in the patient’s existing gingival tissue (this is called a “pinhole”). The purpose of the pinhole is to create an access to work entirely underneath the gums so the tissue can be loosened. We use specialized instruments to slide and maneuver the tissue so it can cover the unprotected root structure. The tissue is held in place by collagen that Dr. Heidi packs underneath the tissue.
Why is Pinhole Surgical Technique better than traditional gum grafting?
In traditional gum grafting, tissue is often taken from the palate. The periodontist or dentist will use a scalpel to create a flap to place the palate tissue graft underneath the gum. The tissue is then sutured until the tissue recovers and heals.
While traditional gum grafting is effective, patients love Pinhole Surgical Technique because the post-operative healing is much more comfortable. With Pinhole Surgical Technique, the pinhole has commonly healed within 24 hours of surgery and discomfort is managed with over-the-counter Advil or Tylenol. There are no sutures, no scalpels, minimal discomfort, faster recovery time and no need for donor tissue or palatal tissue!
Dr. Heidi's Pinhole Surgical Technique Before & Afters:
At our office, we always begin with a Pinhole consultation. During this visit, we will use a small ruler to note gum measurements, recession and sensitivity levels, review estimated insurance coverage, discuss the cost of treatment, explain post-operative restrictions, take mouth guard impressions and acquire digital pictures of your teeth. If you are in need of surgery on the lower arch, we will also need to take a CT Scan, which can be done at our office. Dr. Heidi attended advanced training in Dr. Chao's Pinhole Surgical Technique and has accomplished wonderful achievement through her surgeries. Check out Dr. Heidi's Before and After case studies below: