What is the Pinhole Surgical Technique?
Dr. Ari Moskowitz may recommend the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST™) if you have lost some of your gum tissue from gum disease or other factors such as teeth grinding habits or by using the wrong tooth brushing technique. Traditional gum grafting surgery typically involves removing a sample of healthy tissue from the palate and suturing it to the gum line, however, PST™ can be an attractive noninvasive option for patients who want immediate cosmetic benefits.
To perform this procedure, Dr. Moskowitz makes a very small hole in the gum tissue, through which he uses special instruments to loosen healthy gum tissue and move it to cover exposed root surfaces. The process is relatively simple and effective enough to restore the gum line without extensive surgery. Dr. Moskowitz can treat several teeth in a single visit using the Pinhole Surgical Technique.
What Is Gum Recession?
The gums are soft tissue that fits around each tooth individually, somewhat like a cuff. The adhesion of gum tissue to teeth is critical because it inhibits natural oral bacteria from colonizing in areas beneath the gums where a toothbrush and dental floss cannot reach.
Gum recession is the term used to describe the weakening of the gingival tissue around teeth. Gum recession describes a loosening and pulling away of tissue from the hard enamel of a tooth or teeth. The gums may recede away from one tooth or from several teeth. The more gum recession occurs, the more bacteria infiltrate susceptible areas of the mouth.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Gum recession typically occurs as a side effect of periodontal disease, but may also be the result of brushing too aggressively or other factors. Some of the common causes include:
- Gum disease
- Poor nutrition
- Clenching and teeth grinding habits
- Tobacco usage
- Body piercings
Dangers of Gum Recession
Gum tissue provides a vital function in the mouth. It is involved in the stabilization of teeth as well as the protection of teeth roots. If gums pull away from a tooth or teeth, the roots of those structures become exposed to the degrading effects of oral bacteria. These microorganisms are highly acidic and dangerous to the delicate roots of teeth. Without a strong connection between gum tissue and the crown of teeth, there is a high likelihood of root decay.
Because gum recession is often related to infection and inflammation, it often coincides with other symptoms of disease, including bad breath and visible redness around teeth. These telltale signs of oral decline can severely diminish one’s sense of self-confidence.
Pinhole Rejuvenation vs Gum Grafting
Gum grafting has historically been the ideal solution to correct gum recession. This procedure is considered a connective tissue graft, involving a “harvesting” technique that takes tissue from the roof of the mouth to over affected teeth. Clearly, the excision of palate tissue means that sutures are necessary to close the wound created in this area of the mouth. Traditional harvesting surgery requires as many as three weeks for recovery and usually involves lingering side effects including bleeding, swelling, and gum pain. Because tissue taken from the palate is different than natural gum tissue, the aesthetic results of traditional gum grafting are somewhat artificial. The new tissue that is put in place of the receded gums has a different color and texture than surrounding tissue.
Pinhole gum rejuvenation does not harvest tissue. It does not require incisions and therefore does not require sutures or downtime. The aesthetic results of this technique are outstanding because gum tissue is not replaced, it is moved.
Benefits of the Pinhole Surgical Technique
Patients appreciate the minimally-invasive nature of the Pinhole Surgical Technique originally developed by Dr. John Chao. The gentleness of this technique, performed through a tiny hole made with a needle, means that patients enjoy significantly less recovery time and minimal side effects. Additionally, they enjoy excellent treatment outcomes. Follow-up studies on patients treated with the pinhole technique demonstrate optimal and lasting results.
reasons to Seek Treatment
You need a certain level of gum tissue around the teeth to reduce tooth sensitivity and protect your tooth roots. If you notice your gums are receding, you may be a candidate for a gum restoration procedure.
Gum recession can make you feel self-conscious about your smile and also affect your oral health. You should seek treatment to:
- Reduce the risk of tooth decay
- Improve the quality of your smile
- Boost self-confidence
What Is The Recovery Process Like?
Recovery from Pinhole gum surgery is typically complete within 24 to 48 hours. During this short period of healing, patients may experience mild discomfort that is manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. Subtle swelling, redness, or bleeding may also occur.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have lost gum tissue due to periodontal disease or other factors, Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) may be a good treatment for you. To learn more information and or find out if you are a good candidate, call (410) 744-6088 to schedule a consultation with our experienced Periodontist.