Some patients do require gum grafting, but the conventional process has some disadvantages. With a conventional gum grafting, a small flap of skin is taken from the palate on the roof of the mouth and is then grafted (surgically attached) to the gum. This requires two separate incisions to be made in the mouth for a single gum graft.
Pinhole surgery is an alternative to conventional gum grafting that may be appropriate for some patients. This procedure requires only a single puncture the size of a pinhole to reverse receding gums.
With pinhole surgery, most procedures take as little as a couple of hours, which saves the patient tremendous time compared to conventional gum grafting. Most patients report less pain and a quicker recovery time with pinhole surgery than with conventional procedures. Since there is no actual cutting, there is less bleeding, swelling, and a lower risk of infection with the pinhole procedure.
Using specially designed surgical instruments, the periodontist will make a tiny hole inside the gingiva above (top jaw) or below (bottom jaw) the tooth. The surgeon will inject a small amount of collagen into the hole, which causes the gums to expand back to their natural contours.
This technique was developed by Dr. John Chao as recently as 2012, so it’s still a very new technique, but the long-term results are promising and observation is still ongoing. Because it’s a newer technique, most dentists aren’t yet familiar with it.
Here at Implantation Dental Center, we are proud to have some of the few dentists who have been trained in the pinhole surgery technique. We believe that for some patients, pinhole surgery offers wonderful outcomes comparable to conventional gum grafting, but with fewer risks and less pain for our patients.
Only the best implant dentist in South Florida can offer pinhole surgery in our area, so we invite you to contact our Plantation dental office to schedule a consultation for your receding gums.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I Have Pinhole Surgery?
You should consider having Pinhole Surgery if your gums are receding.
What is Gum Recession?
Gum recession is the term that refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gum line. This can be caused by the aging process, abrasive habits when you brush your teeth, or periodontal disease.
Why Should I Have Gum Recession Treated?
Gum recession causes the lower part of the tooth to be exposed. This exposure can lead to tooth decay and other issues with the gums below it.
How Many Visits Does This Take?
This treatment is usually completed in a single visit. Each tooth takes between 10-20 minutes to treatment.
Does the Pinhole Surgery Procedure Hurt?
This procedure is pain free because your dental professional will use a local anesthetic to ensure that the area is numb before beginning the procedure. Because this procedure is non-invasive, you should not experience anything more than mild discomfort after.
What Should I do to Prepare for the Procedure?
Before the procedure, you will have a consultation. During this consultation, we will tell you everything you need to know about the procedure and the things you need to do after the procedure. During this consultation, we will also pinpoint the reason why your gums are receding which will help us provide the proper treatment.
Additionally, you’ll want to schedule a cleaning before your treatment. It is very important that your teeth are clean before the procedure.
What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
You can expect very minimal discomfort after the procedure. Because it is noninvasive and there won’t be sutures, you may experience a little irritation and pain while brushing your teeth for a few weeks, but you won’t have any bleeding or any other significant issues. If you do experience tenderness, you’ll want to modify your diet to prevent further irritation to your gums.
For the most part, your recovery time should be no longer than one day.
How Much Does the Pinhole Surgery Cost?
The cost of the procedure will be determined by the severity of your receding gums and the number of teeth that need to be treated. We can give you a better idea of the cost after your consultation.
Will My Insurance Cover the Cost of the Procedure?
Most insurance plans do cover periodontal procedures such as Pinhole Surgery. We recommend that you call your insurance company to discuss your coverage and find out what documentation you need to submit at the time of your claim. We also have financing options available and can answer any questions you have about your coverage and filing a claim.