Treating Gum Recession with Dr. Chao’s Pinhole Surgical Technique (TM)
The traditional way gum recession is treated is by performing gum grafts. Gum grafts are essentially stitching extra gum tissue (taken from elsewhere in the patient’s mouth) to the affected area. The body heals and returns the patient to normal, by sewing everything up, and waiting several months for it to merge. This method is effective and dentists are trained to treat more severe cases of gum recession. However, gum grafting is slow, invasive, riskier, and generally an expensive process that interferes with the patient’s daily life.
Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST)
That’s why we are so excited about the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST). If you saw the video I previously shared, you can see an illustration of the two methods compared side-by-side. The PST is a quick, simple, low-maintenance procedure with healthy and natural-looking results. I imagine patients would watch it and think, “Why on earth have dentists not come up with this sooner?” I agree.
PST is a method by which a tool is inserted directly into the gum tissue and is used to gently, partially separate the tissue from the underlying facial bones. The tool is like a hooked needle, which sounds awful, but it means nothing gets sliced up. The only mark left behind is — you guessed it — a little pinhole that heals up in a matter of hours.
After the insertion and loosening of the gum tissue, the gums are then pushed downward (or upward, depending on where we’re working) around sterile teeth. When the gums are nice and cozy up against the teeth again, treatment is finished. Collagen is then inserted behind the gums to stabilize them and speed up the healing process.
Essentially, the Pinhole Technique doesn’t only physically manipulates the gums so that they once again surround and envelop the teeth. But it also stimulates the surrounding area so the gums continue to grow and flourish and stay put in their proper place. A clean, disease-free environment is important, however, and this technique is not appropriate while gum disease is present.
Healing takes place in a matter of days, even overnight for some cases. The patient may not have to take time off work or interrupt his or her busy life. The pain and medical risks are minimal, if any. It is truly amazing, and I’m excited to incorporate it into my practice. I hope many future patients will benefit from this new technique.
Dr. Sperbeck and Boyajian, Los Angeles