Advantages of Pinhole Surgery Over Traditional Periodontal Treatment

Advantages of Pinhole Surgery Over Traditional Periodontal Treatment

By Joe McIntyre, DDS on December 08, 2021

Many people suffer from gum recession. Gum recession is not only unsightly, but it also exposes the base of a tooth, and its roots system, which leaves it vulnerable to decay, infection, and other dental complications.


Traditionally, gum recession is corrected with gum grafts. However, the pinhole surgery technique is just as successful at addressing recession and restoring gum health, and pinhole surgery offers several advantages over traditional treatment.


Dentists at Smiles for Life are happy to offer the pinhole surgery technique, because of the many benefits it offers our Harrisonburg, VA, and Staunton, VA, patients. Here we discuss some of the many reasons that pinhole surgery is preferred for most cases of gum recession.

Minimally Invasive

One of the greatest advantages that the pinhole surgery technique offers over traditional gum graft treatment is that it is minimally invasive. During gum graft surgery donor tissue is taken from other parts of the patient’s mouth or body and is transferred to areas where recession has occurred. Pinhole surgery is far less invasive. Rather than using donor tissue to rebuild the gumline, pinhole surgery loosens existing gum tissues so that they expand and conceal areas of gum recession. The process is safe, simple, and minimally invasive.

No Incisions and No Sutures

As a minimally invasive procedure, the pinhole surgery technique involves no incisions and no sutures to close incisions. Instead, during pinhole surgery, a delicate instrument is used to create a series of small pricks, or holes, along the gumline. These holes allow healthy gum tissues to expand and gradually fill in areas left by gum recession. The tissues heal naturally on their own without the need for sutures.

Minimal Bleeding

During traditional gum graft surgery a scalpel is used to cut and remove donor tissues so that they can be transferred to the area of recession. This technique can result in significant bleeding for the patient. Pinhole surgery does not involve a scalpel or any true incisions, so any blood loss during and after treatment should be minimal.

Fewer Risks

Pinhole surgery’s minimally invasive technique and the low loss of blood both lower the risk of treatment complications. Since tissues are not cut or significantly altered there is virtually no risk of infection or other problems during recovery.

Fast and Easy Recovery

Following a gum graft procedure donor tissues need to heal and attach to existing gum tissues. The recovery process can take several weeks. Incision sites may be painful and sutures can cause additional discomfort, which doesn’t make for a pleasant recovery experience. Conversely, pinhole surgery recovery is fast and easy. Since no new tissues are placed and no incisions need to heal, our Harrisonburg patients should feel completely comfortable within just a couple of days following their procedure. 

Contact Smiles for Life

If you are suffering from gum recession, we encourage you to consider the many benefits that pinhole surgery has to offer. To learn more about this technique and whether it may be right for you, contact our dental practice online, or call (540) 828-2312 to schedule an appointment with one of the experienced dentists at Smiles for Life.

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