Pinhole Surgical Technique
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Pinhole Surgical Technique

Gum recession is a common side effect of gum disease and overzealous brushing. The gums play an important role in protecting our teeth and supporting them. When our gums recede, the roots of our teeth are left vulnerable to bacteria and debris. Gum recession increases our risks of tooth loss as well as decay and infected root canals. Conventional treatments for gum recession called for grafting procedures and sutures. Fortunately, Fairlawn Periodontics offers a suture-free, less invasive alternative to grafting procedures with the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST).


Rejuvenate Damaged Gums


Dr. John Chao, a dentist and researcher developed the Pinhole Surgical Technique. PST was invented as an alternative to gum grafting procedures, which are much more invasive comparatively. Since PST is minimally invasive, there is far less trauma to tissue so that patients can recover quickly and comfortably.

A small, pinhole-sized incision is made into the gingiva and with handheld instruments, our periodontist will gently reposition the gingiva so that the roots of teeth are properly covered. Repositioning the gingiva means that grafting tissue from another area of the mouth is not necessary. There is minimal post-operative downtime since the gums rejuvenate quickly. In addition to the health benefits of PST, patients enjoy an improved aesthetic immediately after treatment.

How PST Works


PST is prescribed for the treatment of gum recession. If gum recession is caused by periodontal disease, a patient will need to have periodontal therapies like LANAP or scaling and root planing prior to receiving PST.


The procedure begins with a pinhole-sized incision, which is made in the gingiva just above the roots of teeth. Handheld instruments then access the gingiva through this tiny incision. These specialized instruments are used to gently loosen gum tissue and guide the gingiva to cover the exposed roots of teeth. The gingiva is moved through multiple points so that it properly conforms to the curved shape of the crowns of teeth.


Once the gums are repositioned, collagen is packed into the gingiva. The gingiva naturally produces collagen to rejuvenate. Placing collagen throughout the treatment site will expedite the healing process. Since sewing and cutting are not necessary with PST, patients enjoy very little discomfort, swelling, and bleeding.


Call Fairlawn Periodontics today to reserve an appointment with our skilled periodontist.

Pinhole Surgical Technique FAQ’s

What are the benefits of pinhole surgical technique (PST)?

The Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) is an effective alternative to gum grafting procedures. This treatment is designed to combat gum recession without the need for invasive cutting and suturing. PST is an advanced surgical technique that repositions the gingiva properly over the roots of teeth.


The most obvious advantage to PST is the fact that patients can achieve the same results of a conventional gum graft with one procedure that does not require scalpels or sutures. Recovering from a traditional graft typically takes two to three weeks. Since PST is far less invasive than gum grafts, there is less trauma to tissue. A reduction in trauma expedites recovery times because both swelling and bleeding are greatly minimized. Caring for one’s gums after treatment is also easier without sutures.


Another benefit to receiving PST is the fact that patients will enjoy an improved aesthetic almost immediately. A corrected gum line will properly cover the roots of teeth. Unlike grafting procedures, a person’s appearance is not disrupted by sutures either.

Is pinhole surgical technique periodontal treatment painful?

The Pinhole Surgical Technique is far less invasive than a gum graft. Reduced invasiveness means improved comfort. Since deep cutting and suturing isn’t necessary to perform this procedure, patients enjoy a significantly more comfortable experience with minimal recovery time, comparatively.


Fairlawn Periodontics stays up-to-date with the latest innovations in treatment protocols so that our patients enjoy the most comfortable and effective treatment possible. PST is one of many treatments we offer that promote optimal oral health with minimal invasiveness.

Are there food restrictions after pinhole surgery?

Even though PST is minimally invasive, it is wise to follow your periodontist’s post-operative recommendations. Eating a soft diet to minimize discomfort and irritation is recommended. Avoiding stringy items and foods with hard, sharp edges will help prevent unnecessary irritation to the gums while a patient heals. It’s a good idea to avoid spicy foods as well since picante flavors can irritate healing tissue.


Our team will be able to determine if a patient can resume normal dietary habits after his or her follow-up appointment. If you have questions about your treatment and the recovery process, call us to speak with a member of our team.

Is Pinhole gum grafting an invasive procedure?

No. PST is not invasive – especially when compared to conventional gum grafting procedures that require cutting and suturing tissue. Instead of removing tissue from the roof of the mouth and suturing it to open gums, PST involves accessing the gums with a pinhole-sized incision and then gently redirecting the gingiva over the roots of teeth.


PST takes advantage of the composition of the gingiva to promote optimal healing. For example, the gingiva naturally produce collagen to regenerate. Packing the gingiva with collagen after PST will help promote healthy tissue regeneration in record time.