Gum disease is never a good problem. But, in its earliest stages, a thorough cleaning is sometimes all you need to clear up the issue. However, as gum disease worsens, you can need more involved forms of treatment, like the Pinhole Surgical Technique®.
Our team specializes in treating gum disease in all of its stages at The Dental Touch in Oakland, California. One innovative approach we turn to involves the Pinhole Surgical Technique. Not only can it save your teeth and gums from additional damage, but it’s less invasive than other treatments.
Why you can’t ignore gum disease
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, develops when you have bacteria in your mouth that cause inflammation. In the earliest stages, we refer to this as gingivitis, and it often causes swelling, bleeding, or tenderness in the gums whenever you brush or floss.
Without treatment, gingivitis can worsen into full-blown periodontitis. At this point, bacteria spread deeper into your oral tissue, and your gums can start pulling away from your teeth. Over time, this leads to exposed pockets where more debris and bacteria can collect, exacerbating the inflammation in your mouth.
When ignored, gum disease causes connective tissue and bone in your mouth to deteriorate, putting you at risk of severe infection and tooth loss. Plus, the excess bacteria in your mouth can also enter your bloodstream, increasing your chances of other illnesses, like heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Fortunately, the right treatment can address this serious problem — that’s where the Pinhole Surgical Technique comes in.
How Pinhole surgery works
In the past, the best solution for more advanced gum disease and gum recession involved a painful process involving tissue grafts. However, the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) has changed all that.
Unlike other treatments, PST is a minimally invasive approach. During your treatment, we use a 16-gauge needle to create a tiny pinhole opening in your gum tissue. This opening is just large enough to insert special instruments for loosening healthy gum tissue from bone. Then, we reposition this tissue over exposed areas to thicken your tooth gingiva.
Last but not least, we apply a collagen strip to the treatment site to support the healing process — no sutures are required!
PST treatment typically takes 1-2 hours, depending on the number of teeth requiring treatment. It’s also completely painless since you receive a local anesthetic or oral conscious sedation to keep you comfortable from start to finish.
What to expect from PST
The Pinhole Surgical Technique offers numerous advantages to other gum disease treatments, such as:
- No cutting or suturing
- Minimal swelling and discomfort
- Instant results
- Faster recovery times
However, it’s important to note that PST does require diligent care while your gum tissue heals.
You can usually resume regular activity within 24-48 hours after your surgery — except where your mouth is concerned. After PST, it’s crucial to be as gentle with your gums as possible to keep your recovery on track.
If you need PST, our team provides detailed instructions on cleaning your mouth, what to eat and drink, and things you should avoid, like smoking, drinking alcohol, and CPAP use. Some of these restrictions can last 6-12 weeks.
We also monitor your progress with regular follow-up appointments to ensure you recover as expected. In the beginning, these visits often occur one day, one week, and one month after your surgery. Then, we ask to see you again at the three- and six-month mark.
When you follow our instructions, PST successfully covers tooth roots in 96.7% of cases, and 95% of people report being highly satisfied with the cosmetic outcomes of the procedure.
Do you have periodontal disease? Contact The Dental Touch to book a consultation by calling 510-324-9096 or scheduling online today.