July 12th, 2018
The pinhole procedure is a surgical technique used to treat gingival (gum) recession. With this technique, there is minimal invasion and much less trauma than alternative methods. The pinhole technique allows your surgeon to reverse gum recession without grafting, incisions, or sutures.
Treating Receding Gums
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. The three stages of gum disease — from least to most severe — are gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Some of the symptoms of gum disease are:
- Swollen, red, tender, or bleeding gums
- Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Loose teeth
- Visible pustules or pus surrounding the teeth and gums
If you exhibit any of these symptoms, make sure you see a dentist immediately. Gum disease does not always come with symptoms, so it is important to have check ups regularly for things that only your dentist may be able to diagnose.
Traditional procedure dictates that any exposed roots from a receding gum line be treated with a gum graft. These soft tissue grafts are usually taken from a donor or another part of the patient’s skin. This tissue is then sutured onto the receding gums and allowed to heal. While effective, the pinhole procedure offers comparable results but with a much less invasive approach.
The pinhole procedure is performed by making small holes in the patient’s existing gum tissue. The gumline is then manipulated through these pinholes and stretched, moved, and positioned to cover any exposed roots. With no cutting, stitching, or grafts required, there is minimal swelling, pain, and bleeding after the surgery is complete.
Advantages of Pinhole Procedure
As mentioned above, one of the most prominent advantages of the pinhole procedure is the reduced recovery time. Because the procedure does not involve cutting or stitching, the recovery is significantly quicker and easier than using a gum graft, which could take as long as three weeks to fully recover from.
Another benefit of the pinhole technique is the fact that multiple teeth can be treated at once. With the traditional gum graft, due to the traumatic nature of the operation, oftentimes multiple affected areas must be treated weeks, even months apart. The pinhole surgery technique allows your surgeon to get in and out of any affected spots without damaging any other parts of your mouth, lessening the chance of infection or complications. In addition, the absence of incisions or sutures allow the patient to see immediate, same-day results.
If you suspect you have or are suffering from gum disease, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist. While the traditional method may have been a scary prospect for some who dislike shiny knives, blood, and stitches, the pinhole technique provides you with a more comfortable experience and results that are just as good as a gum graft. So don’t delay!