Pinhole and Gum Grafting
If you have recession or thin gum tissue then you may notice that your teeth appear “longer” than they used to but the teeth aren’t growing more, really what’s happening is you are losing gum tissue over time. This may also be something that your dentist points out to you. The gums serve to protect your teeth and help to anchor them in the jaw so if you have recession you likely need to have gum treatment to restore the gum tissue and optimize your oral health. When you have a consult, Dr. Pearl will perform a comprehensive exam to assess your oral health and which kind of procedure is best in your case. Usually recession of the gums does not cause pain but may cause sensitivity. It is important to know that the lack of symptoms does not mean lack of disease.
One technique is to take tissue from the root of your mouth and graft to the recession area using conventional techniques which involve scalpels and sutures.
Another option is a procedure we refer to as the pinhole surgical technique/pinhole gum rejuvenation or “pinhole” for short. This method was invented and patented by John Chao, D.D.S., and is a scalpel-free, suture-free procedure for treating gum recession.
This procedure is performed by making a small hole in the base of the gum tissue. Using specially designed instruments, the gum tissue is loosened and guided over the receded part of the tooth. Since there is no cutting, no sutures are needed and in most cases the recovery is quicker over traditional techniques.
The pinhole technique may be combined with using your own tissue (from the roof of your mouth) to gain additional thickness of gum tissue, in which case sutures may be needed.
Some grafting procedures are more comfortable and more esthetic than other techniques and much of this will depend on how much tissue you still have. The sooner this is addressed the more choices you have and the higher likelihood for better results.