Pin hole surgery is a relatively new, non-invasive procedure used to treat receding gums. As opposed to traditional treatment that requires scraping donor tissue off of your palate, this is relatively pain-free and confined to the gums themselves. During this procedure, a needle is inserted into the existing gum tissue and that tissue is loosed up. Once the tissue is positioned, resorbable collagen is placed through the pinholes to hold it there. By covering the exposed root of the teeth, further decay is prevented. This can save a patient’s mouth by eliminating the need to remove teeth.
Many dentists report that patients are reluctant to treat their gum recession because of the horror stories surrounding tissue grafting. The pain associated with it lends to a discussion by patients that have undergone the treatment. Due to this fear, more time passes and the situation worsens leading to tooth pain and possible tooth extraction. Many people do not even notice a problem until it is too late because it does happen so gradually. Getting ahead of the problem is the best way to go about treating this but traditional methods take time a patient may not have. Enter the Pinhole Surgery Treatment or PST.
There are many benefits to pin hole surgery:
- Less discomfort for the patient after treatment
- Faster recovery for the patient than traditional grafting
- No need for uncomfortable sutures
- No need for scalpels or invasive surgical tools
- No need to take donor tissue from the patient’s palate
- Excellent, natural-looking, long-lasting results
There are limitations to the success of the pin hole surgery just as there are with conventional grafting for reversing gum recession. Root coverage, for example, can be unpredictable in areas where there is an advanced bone loss. This gives the newly positioned tissue a lack of bone support.
Additionally, at the time of surgery, the patient must be free of active periodontal disease and inflammation. Patients must follow postoperative instructions, and stop doing the things that may have helped to create the recession. Aggressive brushing is one of the main causes and often times the patient does not realize they are doing it. In cases involving day or night time grinding, an appliance to protect the teeth from the resulting trauma is recommended.
The main advantage of pinhole type surgery over connective tissue grafting is how quickly it can be done. The ability to treat as much damage as possible in one sitting is remarkable. There are obvious limitations when using the patient’s palate tissue. The number of teeth and the area that can be treated all at once is much less. It is common for treating the entire mouth to take over a year. It will require multiple rounds of the palatal grafting technique.
Pinhole surgery, on the other hand, can treat the entire mouth and in a single sitting to completion. There is also significantly less time spent in the chair than grafting procedures, patients are more accepting due to the lessened postoperative pain, the decreased risk of nerve damage postoperatively, and insurance does not restrict it as heavily.
At the end of the day, if you are experiencing any tooth pain or oral discomfort, you should contact your dentist. They will advise you on what your options are. If you request this treatment and your dentist does not perform it in their office, have them refer you to someone who does. Take care of your teeth. You only get one adult set.