Unfortunately, many steer clear of traditional gum graft surgery out of fear of pain and of multiples procedures that can take up to a year before the operation is complete. But delay only makes the condition worse, which leads to more involved surgeries later on for an advanced case of gum disease.
Thankfully, the relatively new pinhole technique can be done in a single sitting and is both minimally invasive and minimal on pain. The technique begins (after local anesthetic) by making a single “pinhole” incision at a strategic location in the periodontal (gum) tissue. A dental hand tool is inserted into this hole and used to scrape plaque off of roots and to loosen the gum tissue so it can be stretched.
Then, that same tool is used to pull your receded gum tissue up to the desired height on your teeth. Sometimes, actual grafts can be used as well to supplement any lack of gum tissue at points. And collagen (bone graft material) strips can be positioned on the teeth at the restored gum line to help keep the gums in place after the surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Pinhole Surgical Grafts?
There are many important benefits to opting for pinhole surgical grafts over traditional gum grafts. This surgery is truly a major advancement in the field of periodontics for many reasons;
1. It’s minimally invasive. Little if any actual graft material is taken from inside your oral cavity, and because the surgery is relatively fast and is minimally invasive, it can be done in one dental appointment. And that appointment is often shorter than any one of the multiple sittings often needed for ordinary gum grafts.
2. Reduced pain. Pinhole surgery patients report they experienced very little pain during or after the surgery. Recovery times were much quicker than for traditional gum grafts. You do have to avoid brushing/flossing the tender area for a time, but it heals quickly.
3. It’s effective. The use of collagen strips is innovative and keeps your gums at their new location. Yet, everyone in periodontics knows that collagen strips have been used for many years and are completely safe. Although this surgery technique is fairly new on the scene, it has already been found in studies to create results that last at least a decade or more, and most dental insurance covers it (and with fewer restrictions than for traditional gum grafts!)
4. Quick recovery. No incisions are made, and so no sutures are needed. This not only means healing is quicker but also means there is no second surgery to remove the stitches. Plus, your gums will not bleed from being cut, because they haven’t been.
You do need to have gums presently free of inflammation, not have suffered extensive bone loss to the jaw, or have uncontrolled diabetes to safely undergo this surgery, however. To learn more about pinhole gum graft surgery, in the Ormond Beach, FL, Area, contact periodontist and licensed pinhole gum graft surgeon Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik today for a free initial consultation.