What is the Pinhole Surgical Technique?

The Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST™) is a minimally invasive treatment option to address gum recession. Unlike traditional grafting techniques that treat gum recession, the Pinhole Surgical Technique is incision and suture-free.

John Chao, DDS developed and patented this breakthrough treatment and Smileboston’s founder, Steven D. Spitz, DMD was one of the first dentists in the Northeastern United States to become certified to perform the Pinhole Surgical Technique™. During the procedure, a needle is used to make a small hole in the patient’s existing gum tissue. Through this pinhole, specialized instruments are used to gently loosen the gum tissue which is pulled down to cover the exposed root structure. Collagen material is then used to stabilize the area of gum recession.

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What causes gum recession?

Gum recession simply refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gum line. And while gum recession is usually viewed as one of the symptoms of periodontal or gum disease, it can also be caused by insufficient tooth brushing, overly aggressive tooth brushing, the natural aging process, or from certain medications that can affect gum health. Gum recession can even be caused by orthodontic treatments and appliances like braces or retainers.

When gum recession occurs, the root structure of the tooth becomes exposed. This means that tooth decay and other problems can affect the teeth along the gum line and beneath it. And because healthy gums are an essential component of good oral health, addressing gum recession is necessary for lasting dental wellness.

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Why choose the Pinhole Surgical Technique?

Unlike gum grafting, The Pinhole Surgical Technique PST™ is minimally invasive and does not cut the gum tissue, making it a much less painful option. Traditional methods to treat gum recession use a connective tissue graft, which “harvests” gum tissue from the roof of the mouth and then sutures it to the affected area. Connective tissue grafts have a recovery period of up to three weeks and patients often experience side effects including: gum pain, swelling and bleeding.

Palatal tissue grafts (tissue taken from the roof of the mouth) also have a different esthetic appearance than normal gum tissue, as the color and texture of roof tissue does not match that of a patient’s gums. Other methods, such as using donor tissues, require intricate suturing and can lead to possible complications and infection.

Benefits of the Pinhole Surgical Technique

  • Non-invasive
  • Reduced side effects of gum surgery (bleeding, swelling, gum pain)
  • Almost immediate cosmetic improvement
  • Incision and suture-free
  • Accelerated recovery
  • One visit can treat multiple areas of recession

If you have any questions about the Pinhole Surgical Technique, gum recession or your treatment options, please call Smileboston at 617-277-4100 to schedule an appointment.

* Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique®™ and PST®™ are registered trademarks of John Chao DDS MAGD, 2008