The pinhole technique is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat gum recession. Gum tissue keeps your teeth in place and prevents bacteria from reaching deeper tissue in the bony structure of your mouth. Problems such as aggressive tooth brushing, previous injuries, and genetic predisposition can cause gum recession. Gum recession can cause gum disease and leaves teeth with less support, which can cause them to loosen or fall out. Pinhole dentistry is designed to rejuvenate the gums and protect the sensitive root of a tooth. The scalpel-free, suture-free procedure involves making tiny holes in the gum with a syringe needle to gently loosen the gum tissue. The loosened tissue is then slid down over the receded area of the teeth. Once the gum tissue is in the desired area, a dental professional inserts collagen strips into the pinhole. Unlike the traditional method of soft-tissue grafting, which uses stitches to keep the gums in place, pinhole dentistry relies on these collagen strips to help create new tissue that secures the gums to their new location. Due to a large amount of collagen and elastin in the gum tissue, the pinholes are typically unnoticeable by the day following surgery. While some patients may experience bruising and swelling following pinhole surgery, the procedure offers instant results and full gum coverage and little to no recovery time. With good dental hygiene practice, including gentle flossing and brushing, the results of a pinhole procedure can be permanent.
Who is a good candidate for pinhole dentistry?
Most people are good candidates for pinhole dentistry. If you are in generally good health and have good dental hygiene, you are likely a good candidate. A pinhole procedure may be an option for you if:
You have severe tooth sensitivity due to gum recession
You are bothered by the appearance of your receding gums
You do not have periodontal disease
You are a non-smoker or are willing to quit smoking before your procedure
You have adequate gum tissue adjacent to your receding gums
You may not be a good candidate for a pinhole procedure if you have a tooth infection or loose teeth, as there may not be an adequate anchor for the new gum tissue. The best way to find out if you are a good candidate is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Barry or Dr. Love. They will examine your gums and discuss your candidacy for the pinhole procedure.
What are the benefits of pinhole dentistry?
There are many benefits and advantages to having a pinhole procedure instead of traditional soft-tissue grafting.
Improved comfort during surgery – Unlike a traditional gum grafting procedure, the pinhole technique does not require removal of tissue from the patient’s palate. No incisions are made, so there is less chance of infection post-surgery. A local anesthetic is used at the procedure area and patients report feeling minimal pain during surgery.
Faster procedure time – Unlike more traditional soft-tissue grafting procedures, pinhole procedures can treat multiple teeth at once. Most patients achieve desired results in just one or two sessions, versus several sessions with traditional gum surgery techniques.
Short recovery time – Because the pinhole technique is minimally invasive, patients can expect little to no downtime after their procedure. Pinhole dentistry requires only local anesthetic, and many patients liken the procedure experience and recovery to getting a filling or a crown. Results from the surgery are immediate, but special care should be taken within the first few days after surgery to protect the new tissue. Patients should not brush or floss their teeth within the first 24 hours after their procedure and should refrain from eating hard candy or crunchy food for one to two days. Most patients report needing only over the counter pain relievers after their procedure.
Immediate results – The pinhole technique offers patients immediate results. Due to the high amount of collagen and elastin in gum tissue, the pinholes are rarely visible within two days of surgery. There are also no unsightly sutures to worry about after your procedure.
More affordable – The pinhole technique can treat a patient’s entire mouth at once, which saves time and money compared to the more traditional grafting procedures.
Why should I have a pinhole procedure at Lifetime Dental Health?
At Lifetime Dental Health, we strive to provide the best dental care around by performing above and beyond. Our goal is for you to leave our practice with a healthy, beautiful, and functional smile. We want to work with you every step of the way to help you feel confident about your dental health.
Our mission is to keep your teeth healthy for life, which requires a life-long relationship with a dental practice that is built on trust and commitment. Dr. Barry and Dr. Love have extensive experience and training in all aspects of dentistry.
If you elect to have a pinhole procedure at Lifetime Dental Health, you can expect to be treated with respect and compassion throughout the process. If you want to find out if you are a good candidate for a pinhole procedure, contact us or call our office today at (614) 333-9442 to set up a consultation.
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