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Smiles For Life

How the Pinhole Surgical Technique Works

Drs. Joe McIntyreDan Whiting, Kelsey Rockey, and Bryant Ash at Smiles for Life in Harrisonburg, VA, invite you to learn how the pinhole surgical technique procedure is performed. This 20-minute procedure is a scalpel- and suture-free alternative to traditional gum grafting that is far less invasive than traditional gum grafting. 

chao pinhole surgery
Pinhole surgery involves using a special tool to migrate healthy tissue into recessed areas of your gumline.

What to Expect during the Procedure

Before you begin, your dentist will numb the treatment area with a local anesthetic. While most patients notice little discomfort during this procedure, we offer several forms of sedation if you are nervous, have a low pain tolerance, or have difficulty sitting for long periods. Once you are comfortable, your dentist will create small openings about the size of a pinhole in your gums using a specialized needle.

At Smiles for Life, we are proud to offer the pinhole surgical technique as a minimally invasive and scalpel-free method for restoring your gumline.

Next, your dentist will use an instrument specially designed by Dr. John Chao to gently loosen the underlying tissue. Next, your dentist can carefully move your gum tissue to cover areas that have become exposed due to gum recession. 

As a final step, your dentist will insert tiny strips of collagen under the gums. These strips encourage natural collagen development for a quicker recovery and help maintain the new position of your gums during the healing process. 

The Pinhole Surgical Technique vs. Gum Grafting

A traditional gum graft generally takes at least an hour to an hour and a half. During that time, your dentist can typically only address recession near one or two teeth. In addition, you usually require an additional procedure to harvest gum tissue to use for grafting, often from the roof of the mouth. Once your graft is complete, recovery can take 14 to 21 days and often involves pain and swelling, along with restrictions in your diet and activity level. 

In contrast, the pinhole surgical technique typically takes about 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the number of teeth treated. There is no limit to how many teeth your dentist can treat in one session. The pinhole technique also causes less trauma to the tissue than a traditional graft, meaning recovery is often shorter and does not involve changes to your normal routine. It is also important to note that this process eliminates the need to harvest soft tissue from elsewhere in the oral cavity.

Learn More about Pinhole Surgery Today

If you are struggling with receded gums, you need a solution that can protect your oral health and improve the appearance of your smile. At Smiles for Life, we are proud to offer the pinhole surgical technique as a minimally invasive and scalpel-free method for restoring your gumline. Find out more about this advanced treatment by contacting our practice online or calling (540) 828-2312 today. During a consultation, we can determine if this procedure is right for you.

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Bridgewater Office

115 Oakwood Dr
Bridgewater, VA 22812

Open Today 9:00am - 6:00pm

Friday by appointment only

More Info Directions (540) 828-2312