Gum recession treatment with the Pinhole® Surgical Technique in Citrus Heights CA
Dr. Darryl Azouz and his team at Sacramento Natural Dentistry in Citrus Heights, CA is committed to providing the healthiest, least invasive, and most effective dental solutions possible. That is why we use the innovative Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique for treating gum recession.
Fast facts – what you need to know
- Receded gums can cause dental pain, sensitive teeth, loose teeth, increased risk of decay, and more.
- Surgical treatment repositions gum tissue and encourages re-attachment. It improves oral health and restores the gumline.
- Conventional surgical techniques involve incisions, sometimes grafting, and potentially lengthy recovery. Depending on the severity of the problem, multiple surgeries may be needed.
- The Chao Pinhole® Technique allows the dentist to access tissue through a tiny “pinhole” rather than incisions. The flap is stabilized with collagen strips rather than using tissue grafts.
- Benefits of the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique include no scalpel, no sutures, no tissue grafting, and fast recovery. In most cases, only one procedure is needed.
Causes and symptoms of gum recession
Gum recession is a common dental problem, although affected patients might not even notice it at first. It happens when gum tissue pulls away from teeth or becomes worn down, exposing a bit of the tooth root. However, it doesn’t stop with just a bit of exposure. Without treatment, gums will continue receding, exposing more of the tooth root, and eventually damaging supporting structures.
The most common cause of gum recession is periodontal disease. This infection results in inflammation of the gum tissue, causing it to detach from the tooth root. When that happens, a shallow pocket forms, where bacteria-laden plaque and tartar collect. Of course, this accumulation of bacteria advances the infection, which causes further detachment, and deeper pockets. Without treatment, the cycle continues.
Factors that may cause or aggravate gum recession include:
- Periodontal disease
- Inadequate oral hygiene and dental care
- Nicotine use
- Bruxism (grinding or clenching teeth)
- Aggressive brushing
- Tooth misalignment
- Genetic predisposition
Signs you may have gum recession include:
- Teeth appearing to be longer
- Uneven or inadequate gumline
- Tooth sensitivity
- Frequent toothaches
- Loose teeth
Treatment options for gum recession
The best treatment depends on the severity of gum recession, and the presence of gum disease. This is one of many reasons to have a dental checkup every six months. If we detect the problem early, it can usually be reversed with deep cleaning treatment and diligent oral hygiene. The most severe cases usually require surgical treatment, which is much gentler and less traumatic with the pinhole® technique.
What is the difference between surgical techniques?
- Conventional surgery involves taking a small amount of tissue, usually from the roof of the mouth, and grafting it to the receded area of the gums. That means you are left with two surgical wounds, one at the donor site and one at the treatment site. The graft is secured with sutures, increasing discomfort during recovery. Additionally, the cosmetic results of a sutured graft may be less than ideal.
- The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique accomplishes the same goal, in a much more precise and less invasive way. The dentist creates a tiny access hole in the gums, then uses special tools to lift and reposition tissue. A collagen strip is inserted, which holds tissue in place. With this method, there is only one surgical site, and it is a tiny pinhole with no sutures. As it heals, the collagen strip resorbs, leaving behind only healthy tissue.
What to expect before, during, and after pinhole surgery
This advanced technique can restore periodontal health in a surprisingly gentle and fast-healing procedure. What does it involve?
- Preparation – For best result, your teeth and gums need to be free of plaque, tartar, and other biofilms. We will schedule a thorough teeth cleaning treatment in advance of surgery.
- Numbing – Before beginning the pinhole procedure, the treatment area is numbed with local anesthetic. You shouldn’t feel any pain during treatment.
- Access – Once your gums are completely numb, your dentist will create a tiny pinhole. That is all the space needed for the specialized instruments used in this technique. There is no scalpel involved, and therefore very little, if any, bleeding.
- Correction – Using specialized instruments, Dr. Azouz will gently lift gum tissue to its optimal position. He inserts a Bio-Gide resorbable membrane, which is a tiny strip of collagen that stabilizes tissue during healing. This is the final step. Because there is no wound to close, there are no sutures.
- Recovery – Due to the minimally invasive nature of treatment, recovery takes about a day with no downtime.
- Results – After treatment, gum tissue should adequately cover the tooth root, reducing or eliminating pain and sensitivity. For patients with periodontal disease, reattachment of tissue closes the pocket that forms between the teeth and gums. Thanks to the precision of this method, your gum line is more uniform, giving you an attractive, healthy looking smile.
If you have periodontal disease, gum recession, or any other oral health concerns, please call (916) 823-8585.