Sometimes areas of the teeth have exposed root surfaces, regardless of the amount of tissue that is present, or the thickness of that tissue. The Pinhole Surgical Technique® is a method that covers those root surfaces. Patients are often happy with this minimally invasive procedure. Dr. Chris Chondrogiannis at Farber Center explains why this surgery is the best option.
What is the Pinhole Surgical Technique?
The Pinhole Surgical Technique® achieves root coverage, which typically results from gum recession. The resulting coverage is the same as traditional gum surgery using allografts, donor cadaver tissue, or taking tissue from the roof of the mouth. Ultimately, the goal was always increasing the amount of thick tissue and covering root surfaces.
How is it Different From Traditional Surgery?
Unlike traditional surgery, which involves a large incision using a scalpel, the Pinhole Surgical Technique® uses very small pinholes with special instruments. Those instruments are inserted through the pinhole to separate and loosen up the tissue. If we can mobilize that tissue we can cover the exposed roots. Additionally, we use collagen strips under the soft tissue to help stabilize that tissue and that does not require the use of sutures. It is an easier, more efficient way to accomplish root coverage.
The Pinhole Surgical Technique® is so useful that we are leaning towards avoiding gum grafts from the roof of the mouth or using cadaver tissue. We would like to use this new technique for most or all of our root coverage procedures.
What is the Procedure Like?
It is done through very small pinholes that are about 1.5mm in diameter. Through those little holes we are able to do the procedure without having to place sutures. That definitely minimizes the amount of discomfort the patient has and it minimizes swelling. Patients do really great post-operatively.