Pin hole surgery – a new way of treating gum recession

Bupa Dentist, Dr Don Kelly has under gone pin hole gum recession training in USA under the direct supervision of Dr Chao, a certified practitioner who invented the procedure.

I’ve been a dentist for 31 years and recently had the pleasure of visiting the USA to train in a new procedure for treating gum recession.

What is gum recession you ask? Great question! Gum recession is when the gum wears away to expose the tooths root which can often be sensitive and increase bacteria build up. Find out what can cause gum recession below.

What’s so good about this new pin hole surgery? Another great question and to start with, I’ll explain what is so unique about this specific treatment.

The pin hole surgery is scalpel and suture free and to date has proven to be very stable and more reliable and predictable than traditional grafting procedures.

This technique was developed by Dr John Chao in the USA in 2006 and was established to address gum recession, a common problem particularly as we get older.

Traditional treatment for receding gums involves grafting. This involves cutting a piece of gum from another area, usually the palate and then burying this graft under the gum in the affected site.

This can be a very painful procedure with poor long-term results, often needing to be redone over the years.

That’s where this new pinhole treatment comes in - the revolutionary new technique works where the gum is actually pushed back up to cover the exposed root surface, by gently loosening the gum allowing it glide over the teeth.

Patients quite often report significantly less pain and discomfort than grafting, needing only mild pain relief the following day.

Benefits of pin hole gum recession surgery:

  1. Corrects multiple areas in a single visit with the procedure only taking two hours - in many cases.

  2. Minimal discomfort and swelling

  3. Pinhole sites heal in 24 hrs in most cases

  4. Can prevent tooth loss and so the need for other costly procedures such as dentures, bridges or implants can be avoided

  5. Reverse the appearance of looking long in the tooth associated with ageing

  6. Most patients report they are back to normal light activities within 24-48 hours after the procedure

What can cause gum recession?

  1. Periodontal disease. This is the result of bacteria causing an inflammatory response causing the supporting bone of teeth to be lost resulting in the gum shrinking away from the teeth. There is a genetic component to this disease, which is why some people get this disease even though they have good oral hygiene

  2. Aggressive tooth brushing at the gum level

  3. Smoking is a contributing factor as it causes a change in the nature of the plaque and changes to the gum blood circulation

  4. Grinding and severe clenching may be a factor

  5. Crooked and misaligned teeth and lip and tongue piercings

Consequences of gum recession:

  1. As the gums recede the tooth root becomes exposed. This porous exposed root surface is more susceptible to the ill effects of decay causing plaque. In some people this can result in rapid deep decay, increasing the likelihood of the need for endodontic (root canal) treatment or loss of the tooth.

  2. Increased sensitivity: people will often experience sensitivity to hot, cold changes, some foods and such things as tooth brushing.

  3. In severe cases, especially in the back-molar teeth, this may lead to increased and complex gum disease

  4. The exposed root is softer and more susceptible to erosion and wear from acidic drinks, foods and tooth brushing. Increasing sensitivity and the formation of grooves or notches in the neck of the teeth. These groves can become very severe wearing into the nerve and making the teeth weak and prone to breaking at the gum level.

  5. Food will get stuck in these areas which can lead to the problems already mentioned

  6. Looking older than what we may be, the “long in the tooth” look.

Blog written by Bupa Dentist, Dr Don Kelly from Face Dental in Brisbane.

Find out more about Face Value Dental in Brisbane.Read more dental news


Why you need to care about antibiotic use and resistance

Free dental check-ups with Members First Platinum


Read more dental news