Most people haven’t heard of the pinhole surgical technique unless their periodontist mentions it or they do research online related to gum recession. This means that even if you have heard about the technique, you are unlikely to know exactly what it involves. It is officially referred to as the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique after Dr. John Chao, who created it. The technique is a unique way of repairing gum shrinkage without any need for incisions or sutures.
The Basic Procedure
The pinhole surgical technique is ideal for most patients as it doesn’t require surgical grafting to treat gum recession. Instead, your periodontist makes a small pinhole in the gums using a special needle. They then insert unique tools into this tiny hole and shift the gum tissue down to cover the area it has receded from. Your periodontist will also add some collagen strips which will stabilize your gum flap.
At the same time, the presence of these strips encourages your body to generate more collagen tissue and since gum tissue is packed with collagen, this improves the gum health and further speeds up the recovery process. To make the pinhole surgical technique even more appealing, it can be performed on an unlimited number of teeth in a single visit so you will be able to enjoy healthy gums more quickly and take advantage of less time off work for recovery. Even if you have the procedure performed on the entire mouth, it should only take about three hours or so. By comparison, traditional gum grafting takes up to an hour and a half for one to two teeth.
Why Periodontists Recommend It
This method causes very minimal trauma to your gum tissue and doesn’t create any open wounds. The result is a shorter recovery time with significantly less discomfort than you would experience with traditional gum grafting. The results should still be permanent, lasting as long as other procedures. That being said, patients still need to take care of their gums and avoid things like over-brushing which can undo the good of the procedure. Patients also report quicker recovery times and less discomfort with the pinhole surgical technique than gum grafting.