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Understanding the Pinhole Surgical Technique®

You’ve probably heard the terms gingivitis, gum disease, periodontal disease, and periodontitis. But do you know what they actually describe and how they put your teeth at risk?

At The Dental Touch in Oakland, California, our team can help identify gum disease in its early stages and provide innovative treatments, including the Pinhole Surgical Technique®, to help prevent receding gums without the need for more invasive treatments. 

The problem with gum disease

Gum disease — or periodontal disease — describes gum inflammation caused by bacteria. In the earliest stages, it’s known as gingivitis. At this point, you may find your gums bleed or become swollen or tender when you brush or floss. As the bacteria spreads deeper, however, it progresses into full-blown periodontitis.

When you have periodontitis, your gums start pulling away from your teeth. This process leaves exposed pockets in your mouth, which collect more bacteria and debris. Without treatment, this bacteria can cause the bone and connective tissue in your mouth to deteriorate, leading to serious infection and even tooth loss.

Fortunately, you can reverse gum disease at every stage. And now, with the Pinhole Surgery Technique (PST), it’s easier than ever to save your teeth and gums from more damage.

Introducing the Pinhole Surgery Technique

In the past, the traditional treatment for gum recession involved painful tissue grafts. Instead, PST uses the existing tissue in your mouth to cover the exposed area of your tooth.

This minimally invasive approach uses a sterile 16-gauge needle to create a small pinhole in your gum tissue. We use this tiny access point to insert special instruments. The entire process enables us to increase your gum's thickness by loosening healthy gingiva tissue from bone in the area and repositioning it over the exposed portion of the tooth.

After increasing the thickness of your gingiva, we apply a collagen strip to your gum tissue, which supports the healing process.

PST offers numerous advantages to other treatments, including:

Plus, most people undergoing PST treatment find their pinholes heal within 48 hours and don’t require any narcotic pain medication.

What to expect with the Pinhole Surgery Technique

During your appointment, our team provides a local anesthetic or oral conscious sedation so you won’t feel a thing. The entire procedure typically takes between 1-2 hours, depending on how many teeth require treatment. 

While your appointment is simple and straightforward, PST requires rigorous post-op care. That’s because it’s critical to be as gentle as possible to encourage proper healing of your treated gum tissue.

Restrictions after PST include:

If you have sleep apnea, you also shouldn’t use your CPAP device while you recover.

To ensure your recovery stays on track, we schedule regular follow-up appointments. Early on, these usually occur one day, one week, and one month after your procedure. Then, they take place at the three- and six-month mark. We provide personalized instructions for cleaning the surgical site during these visits and let you know when it's safe to start brushing and flossing again.

To learn more about how PST can help restore your gum health, contact our office by calling 510-324-9096 or book an appointment online today.

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