Pinhole Surgical Technique Can Create a Healthier and More Balanced Smile

Dr. Abbey J. Lee uses the pinhole surgical technique as a safe and effective method for treating mild to moderate gum recession at our Atlanta, GA dental practice. Compared to traditional soft tissue grafting, this surgical technique delivers better precision and faster results without the need for scalpels and sutures. At Smiles 4 Grant Park, this procedure can provide both medical and cosmetic benefits for patients dealing with the negative side effects of receding gums.

What Is Gum Recession?

Gum recession is a term used to describe what happens when the soft tissues surrounding the base of the tooth pull back and expose the tooth’s root. When gums recede, it can create gaps between the teeth and gum line, causing food, plaque, and bacteria to get easily trapped. If receding gums are left untreated, over time this can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and in more severe cases, tooth loss.

The initial stages of gum recession include dental sensitivity, a visible notch between the tooth and gum line, and in some cases, teeth may appear longer. Once gum recession occurs, it is naturally irreversible and can only be treated with traditional gum grafting or a pinhole surgical procedure. There are a number of factors that can lead to gum recession, such as:

  • Gum disease
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Heredity
  • Improper brushing techniques
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause

The Pinhole Surgical Technique Procedure

The best candidates for the pinhole surgical technique include patients who are looking for a less invasive approach to reversing gum recession and creating a beautifully contoured gum line. Created in 2006 by Dr. John Chao, this blade-free and suture-free surgical technique has provided successful results for over 10 years.

During the procedure, Dr. Lee will numb your gums with a local anesthetic. She will then insert a tiny needle into the gum tissue above the tooth being treated. Using a special tool, she will gently massage and loosen the gums back into position. When Dr. Lee is satisfied with the placement of your gums, she will insert tiny collagen strips into the hole to secure the gums and stimulate healing.

The length of the procedure will depend on how many teeth are being treated, but in most case will take about one to two hours per tooth and you can return to normal activity immediately afterwards. For the first 24 hours you may experience some mild swelling and discomfort, but nothing that can’t be managed with an over-the-counter pain medication. By the next morning, the small holes will have closed and you will notice a more contoured gum line. To avoid disrupting the collagen strips, we recommend following gentle brushing techniques and avoiding difficult-to-eat foods.

Why the Pinhole Surgical Technique is Better

Gum contouring with the pinhole surgical technique can deliver a straighter gum line and more attractive, healthier smile. If proper oral hygiene is followed, you can enjoy long-lasting results. Compared to traditional gum grafting, this surgical technique provides optimal benefits, including:

  • Faster recovery with reduced chance for complications
  • Minimal bleeding, swelling, and discomfort
  • Eliminates the need for an additional surgical site
  • Blade-free and suture-free

Schedule Your Consultation

Contact Smiles 4 Grant Park today to learn more about the benefits of improving your gum line with the pinhole surgical technique. You can reach us via email or by calling 404.328.7177 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Lee.
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