top of page

Pinhole Surgical Technique

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!

Check out this video below to see the procedural difference of Traditional vs. Pinhole Surgical Technique:

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 had wonderful success in her surgeries. If you want to optimize your dental wellness and feel confident about your smile, please don't hesitate to call!

CASE 1: BEFORE (below)- Dr. Heidi Treated the Upper Left Quadrant.

CASE 1: SIX WEEKS AFTER (below)- Dr. Heidi Treated the Upper Left Quadrant.

CASE 2: BEFORE (below)- Dr. Heidi Treated the Upper Right Quadrant.

CASE 2: SIX WEEKS AFTER (below)- Dr. Heidi Treated the Upper Right Quadrant.

If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please call 614-882-2249.


111 views0 comments
bottom of page