Case Study: How We Use The Pinhole Procedure For Receding Gums

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Unfortunately, once gum tissue is destroyed it doesn’t grow back. Fortunately, innovative treatment methods. One such treatment is the pinhole procedure for receding gums.

We previously published a short article about the pinhole procedure for receding gums. In the past, gum grafting was the go-to treatment to prevent tooth loss to treat damage from more advanced gingivitis. This treatment is invasive and tends to be painful.

The pinhole gum surgery reverses gingival recession without grafting. This treatment is less invasive than grafting and other surgical options.

What Conditions Does The Pinhole Procedure Treat?

This procedure treats gingival recession otherwise known as gum recession. Over time, bacteria inflames the gums and causes them to pull away from the teeth and recede. Once the gums pull away, it leaves the root of the tooth exposed and vulnerable.

Also, gum recession causes small pockets between the gumline and the teeth. These pockets provide a place for bacteria and plaque to accumulate. Unfortunately, the teeth become more vulnerable to decay and more advanced gum disease. Eventually, this may lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

Gum disease has numerous causes. Some causes include bacteria build-up, aggressive cleaning or brushing, tooth grinding, aging, and poor dental hygiene.

Prevention is usually the best cure since gum tissue doesn’t re-grow. This is why every dentist and hygienist recommends a routine that includes gently brushing the teeth, flossing daily, and receiving professional dental cleanings. Some may try to fight gum disease with deep cleanings, special mouthwashes, and more advanced treatments.

Despite best efforts, sometimes surgical treatments like the pinhole procedure offer a patient the best chance at a healthy mouth.


How The Pinhole Procedure Works

pinhole procedure for receding gums

The following is a simplified description of the pinhole procedure for receding gums. Obviously, some nuance is lost since this is a specialized treatment, but an informed patient is in a better position to make the right choices.

  1. Your dental professional will place small pinholes in the gum tissue near the receded areas. The number of pinholes varies depending on how many teeth are affected.
  2. Next, the dentist uses specialized dental instruments to gently loosen gum tissue through the pinholes.
  3. The dentist carefully repositions the loosened tissue to cover areas where the gum recession occurred.
  4. Next, the dentist applies collagen to hold gum tissue in place while it heals.

The goal is to cover the exposed root of the affected tooth or teeth. Doing this protects the tooth from the ravages of decay that hit exposed roots, sensitivity and to help prevent tooth loss.

At Southview Dentistry, Dr. Micheal Wilson is a certified provider of the Dr. Chao Pinhole Technique®. As mentioned, it is an innovative alternative treatment for gum recession.

Before this technique was developed, most patients would see a periodontist for a conventional graft. The graft required the dentist take tissue from the patient’s palate and places it to cover the receding gum area. Patients found it painful and took longer to heal from the operation. Thanks to the pinhole procedure, qualified patients have a more pleasant treatment and healing experience.

Healing After The Pinhole Procedure

As described, this newer procedure is less invasive than gum grafting and other procedures. Patients also enjoy faster healing since the dentist doesn’t cut into the gums and there are no stitches.

The Pinhole procedure usually only requires a single office visit for the procedure. Often, patients return to work the morning following this procedure and experience a minimal interruption of their lives.  There are postoperative visits to follow up on healing.

This isn’t meant to downplay the recovery process after a pinhole procedure. Patients usually experience some swelling in the gums. They also experience mild pain while the soft tissue in their mouth heals. However, people who suffer from severe gum disease usually find the pain bearable and the procedure worthwhile. They see results immediately after the treatment is complete. Compared to other surgical procedures, a pinhole procedure for receding gums is comparatively less painful and are more convenient for the patient.

At-home aftercare isn’t as complicated as it is following grafting procedures. Even so, your dentist will advise you to give your teeth and gums a little tender loving care. You may need to avoid brushing for a short period of time while healing. Most patients may return to their normal diet after complete healing, but some find it more pleasant to avoid any foods that irritate their gums for a few days.

Of course, no procedure suits every patient. Your dentist conducts a thorough examination before recommending pinhole or any other procedure.

Benefits Of Pinhole Procedure For Treating Receding Gums

In conclusion, when the pinhole procedure is appropriate, there are so many benefits over other surgical options. Those benefits include:

  • Long lasting and immediate results
  • No need for incisions, sutures, or stitches
  • A less invasive procedure that allows for a speedier and more pleasant healing process
  • Most patients return to work or their daily lives the very next day following the procedure
  • Esthetic improvement and improved tooth stability

Southview Dentistry is your premier Charlotte, North Carolina location for gum recession treatment and the Chao Pinhole Technique®. Dr. Micheal Wilson is certified in these techniques and is ready to help improve your overall oral health with gum recession treatment.

Contact Southview Dentistry to discover whether the pinhole treatment is right for you. Call today to schedule a consultation and examination. Depending on your health insurance plan, the pinhole procedure may be covered. Since each plan is different, our staff will work with you to learn the extent of your coverage if this procedure is right for your oral health.