Gum recession may result in cosmetic problems, making teeth look more pronounced or significantly longer. As tooth roots become more exposed, tooth sensitivity cases increase, causing much pain when eating and drinking. What is even worse is that receding gums give room for the formation of pockets between the gum line and teeth. These pockets are where food particles, bacteria, and tartar can accumulate, increasing the risk of tooth loss, gum disease, and more progressive problems such as bone necrosis.
The good news is that gum recession can be treated. At Washington Dental, we offer pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery to treat gum recession. If your gums have receded and they’re affecting the comfort or appearance of your smile, contact us to assess your gums and teeth condition and guide you about the most effective solution that suits your needs. To know if pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery will benefit your gum’s comfort and appearance, reach out to us to set up an appointment for a consultation. Our experienced, award-winning dentists serve clients seeking dental treatment in Lomita, CA.
Why Gums Recede
Gum recession refers to the gradual process in which the margin of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls back or wears away, exposing much of the tooth root or tooth. The recession could simply be due to the usual aging process, and it usually does not need treatment. In other cases, however, gum recession could be due to different reasons, and it’s usually more severe that it requires treatment to cover the exposed tooth structure. These reasons include:
- Gum disease — gingivitis is the primary reason why gums recede. The bacteria in tartar or plaque that have migrated underneath the gum line start inflaming the gum tissues making them pull away from the teeth. At the initial stages of the gums pulling away, pockets form, allowing for the accumulation of more bacteria. When more bacteria accumulate, the gums start pulling down on your teeth, exposing the tooth roots.
- Tongue or lip piercing — jewelry may rub your gums and lead to irritation to the point that the gum tissues wear away.
- A misaligned bite or crooked teeth — if you have a misaligned bite, force is unevenly distributed, affecting given teeth and causing the gums to recede.
- Clenching and grinding — teeth clenching and grinding during sleep exerts too much pressure on them, and gums respond by receding.
- Smoking — cigarette or tobacco smoking leads to plaque building up on your teeth, resulting in gingivitis followed by more advanced periodontal disease.
- Hormonal changes — changing hormones in females during pregnancy, menopause, and puberty may lead to the gums being susceptible to recession.
- Aggressive tooth brushing — brushing your gums and teeth wrongly or too hard can wear off the tooth enamel and make your gums recede.
- Your genes — some people are highly likely to develop periodontal disease (the primary cause of receding gums) because of their genes. Research shows that 30 percent of people may be susceptible to periodontal disease despite taking good care of their teeth.
- Inadequate dental care — insufficient brushing, rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash, and flossing will make it easy for plaque to turn into tartar (calculus), which can eventually cause gum recession.
When you have receding gums, the tooth root becomes exposed, meaning that tooth decay and other issues may affect the teeth along the gum line and underneath it. Because healthy gums are vital for healthy teeth and mouth, treating receding gums is critical for lasting oral/dental health.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Technique for Gum Recession Treatment
Pinhole gum rejuvenation is also known as Lunchtime Gum Lift or The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique. It’s a groundbreaking, minimally invasive procedure for treating receding gums and preventing the recession from advancing. An alternative to conventional gum graft techniques, the Lunchtime Gum Lift procedure doesn’t require any sutures, donor sites, or scalpel incisions.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Procedure
The dentist begins the treatment process by numbing your gums and the surrounding tissue. Then, they will create a small hole in the gums using a needle where they insert a specially designed dental instrument. After which, they will gently move the tool back and forth, freeing the gum flaps over your teeth. After they have freed the gum, they will guide it down to a normal, healthy position covering the exposed tooth structure. Lastly, they will insert small collagen strips into the gum tissue via the pinhole (or pinholes based on how many teeth are being treated). Collagen strips help in stabilizing the gum tissues in their new position during healing. We mentioned that The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique involves no sutures or scalpel incisions, and thus the pinhole/pinholes usually heal in just a single day.
Pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery isn’t time-sensitive. It takes just one or so hours to complete based on how many teeth have gum recession. Only local anesthesia is administered for the Lunchtime Gum Lift procedure. If you wish, your dentist could also sedate you.
You can realize the results right after undergoing treatment. You will see your gums back to where they should normally be, covering the root/roots of your tooth/teeth. Additionally, your teeth will not appear overly long or pronounced anymore. They will also not be sensitive since the tooth root isn’t exposed anymore. Chao gum surgery is a permanent procedure. But this does not imply your gums cannot recede again if you’re overly aggressive whenever you brush or practice poor hygiene. If you take good care of your gums, they will stay in their proper position for a lengthy period.
Preparation for The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique
There is nothing you have to do in preparation for the pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure. As we mentioned, only local anesthesia is used, so you should not be concerned about fasting in advance. This simple procedure does not need you to prepare in any way and has an easy, minimal recovery period.
Candidacy for The Lunchtime Gum Lift Procedure
When considering undergoing the pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure, you want to determine whether you’re an ideal candidate for it. Your periodontist or dentist will make the final decision as to whether you qualify or not. However, various factors break or make a patient’s candidacy for this procedure.
If your gum recession is more of an esthetic issue than a dental health problem, this procedure is a worthwhile and viable option. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity because of receding gums, but the cause isn’t because of an active bout of gum disease, you can undergo the pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure. If you don’t smoke, you’re also an ideal candidate for the pinhole gum rejuvenation technique.
Note that you have to be in perfect health (both general and dental health) to undergo this procedure. If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, you’ll likely not be an ideal candidate for the pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure. If you don’t have sufficient gum tissue to be used for the procedure, your dentist won’t be capable of performing it since a given amount of gum tissue is needed for the treatment to be successful.
After Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Surgery
We mentioned that there is hardly any recovery period after undergoing pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery. Therefore, there are no foods you particularly have to avoid. However, gums will slightly sore; thus, you will probably need to avoid too chewy or crunchy foods for one or so days. It isn’t a rule. It only makes it a bit easier for you to manage food in the mouth if you do not have to chew much.
You can also resume brushing your teeth twenty-four hours after treatment. The pinholes (entry points) your dentist makes are only tiny and recover pretty quickly. Go easy on the gums for some days, but overaggressive brushing may be the reason for your gums receding to begin with. Therefore, use lighter force in the days to come.
The pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure might seem as though it will be traumatic because it involves shifting the gum tissues from one place to another, but it is not. The technique merely frees the gum pulled upwards then moves it down to its normal position. It is worth repeating that there is no recovery, and you can resume your work right after the treatment if you wish. However, some patients give it a day before they can resume their usual activities. Even though gums will sore, the pain isn’t acute, and you can usually manage it using over-the-counter painkillers.
The Success of Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Technique
Even though there’s always some risk when it comes to conducting any surgical procedure, studies have shown that the success rate of the pinhole gum rejuvenation technique is very high (at over 90%). This success rate is equivalent to that of traditional gum graft procedures. However, these procedures necessitate cutting the gum tissue and suturing the areas to close them. They’re quite painful during recovery. On the other hand, with the pinhole gum rejuvenation technique, there’s no bleeding, it’s almost painless, and it does not need any recovery period.
Note that the success of The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique is significantly based on the self-care routines you follow. Generally, you can return to your day-to-day activities immediately after the treatment. However, you should avoid flossing and brushing for the first twenty-four hours to allow the gums to heal. It’s also advised that you eat soft foods for the first twenty-four hours, then you can start reintroducing harder foods. You may experience mild discomfort during this time. However, you can easily manage it using over-the-counter painkillers.
After treatment, it’s critical to practice good dental/oral hygiene routines and avoid anything that might have led to the first recession, like an unhealthy diet or aggressive brushing habits, to ensure the treatment is a success and prevent the same problem in the days to come.
High Rate of Patient Satisfaction
Apart from the high success rate, the pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure also does have a higher patient satisfaction rate. This is primarily because the procedure doesn’t require scalpels or sutures, provides virtually instantaneous enhanced cosmetic results, and is minimally invasive. And Since this is a minimally invasive procedure, there’s also a considerably low risk of having surgical side effects.
Good Self-Care Measures Improve Success Rates
Whereas the general success rate of The Lunchtime Gum Lift procedure is higher, one most critical factor that determines whether the procedure will be effective or not is the kind of lifestyle and self-care habits you adopt after undergoing treatment. This is particularly critical for patients who underwent the treatment because of gum disease. To minimize the risk of having the same problems in the days to come, follow these guidelines:
- Eat healthy— to minimize the risk of receding gums, avoid highly sugary or starchy foods. If you drink any sugary beverage, use a straw, if possible, then rinse your mouth after you’re done drinking.
- Floss and brush regularly— routine flossing and brushing teeth two times a day are among the most effective ways of reducing the risk of gum recession and enjoying good oral/dental health. You should also practice proper brushing techniques since brushing with so much frequency or too hard can make your gums recede. In case your gums receded because of over or aggressive brushing, consider buying a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Schedule routine visits to the dentist— apart from practicing proper personal routines, the most critical thing to do to avoid having receding gums and the need to undergo procedures like pinhole gum rejuvenation again is scheduling regular dental examinations at least after every six months, or with significant regularity, if need be. Apart from having professional teeth cleaning, these routine exams allow your dental specialist to monitor your general oral/dental health and address any problems before they advance.
Pinhole Gum Regeneration Technique vs. Traditional Gum Grafting
Traditionally, gum recession is treated through a gum graft procedure. During the procedure, your dentist extracts tissue from your mouth’s roof then transplants it on the tooth or teeth with receding gums. Whereas this process is a foreseeable means of gaining root surface coverage, you will also experience pain from the two surgical sites. The pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure doesn’t rely on removing tissue from your mouth’s roof. Instead, the dentist forms a tiny hole in the gum tissue then pushes the tissue down to cover the exposed tooth/teeth. The gums will now be normally and healthily positioned on your tooth/teeth. The dentist will insert collagen to help the tissue remain in place. Thus, there isn’t any need for a donor site or sutures.
The differences between Chao gum rejuvenation and traditional gum graft are several and include:
- The number of teeth treated — the dentist can treat only a few teeth at a time when it comes to traditional gum graft. With The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique, the dentist can treat numerous teeth in a single visit.
- Surgical procedure — when it comes to traditional gum graft techniques, the dentist usually makes an incision on your palate to remove gum tissue that they sew on top of the exposed tooth roots. For the pinhole gum rejuvenation technique, the dentist uses a tiny, pinhole-sized incision to slide gums over sites of exposed tooth roots before they place collagen strips to help in proper healing.
- Recovery time — when you undergo the traditional gum grafting procedure, you will have to be stitched up. The stitches can take the utmost ten days to heal and close the incisions.
- Length of surgery — traditional gum graft techniques can last over ninety minutes. On the other hand, pinhole gum rejuvenation requires only approximately one hour. But for the pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery, there’s practically no recovery period.
The Cost of the Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Procedure and Insurance Coverage
The Pinhole gum rejuvenation procedure costs anywhere between $2500 and $5000 per jaw. The average price is about $3,000. This price is inclusive of the preparation, consultation, membrane, and postoperative visits. Where the charges fall within the given range for a single patient is based on several different factors. You cannot be sure of the amount of money you will pay for the treatment without consulting your dental specialist. A consultation is required first to establish whether you are a good candidate for the procedure or not. If you are, your dental specialist will provide you with an estimated cost for treatment during that time.
Aspects Contributing to the Cost of the Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Procedure
We mentioned that several different factors affect the cost of The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique. They include, among others:
- The number of teeth undergoing surgery — as it is to be expected, every tooth that has to undergo surgery will add to the overall cost. Therefore, if you have a row of teeth that all need treatment, your dental specialist will charge you a higher amount.
- Seeing a dentist vs. a periodontist — when it comes to skills, a periodontist has a specialty in gum tissue-related procedures. A few general dentists may carry out pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery. However, the experience and expertise of a periodontist generally result in excellent outcomes.
- Your dental specialist’s experience level — not all dental professionals have the same degree of expertise and level of experience. The higher the experience a dental specialist has, the higher their charges for this procedure will be. Usually, patients are willing to part with more money for assurance that they will receive the highest quality care from a skilled and experienced dentist.
- Your periodontist or dentist’s office location — based on where your periodontist or dentist’s office is located, the cost could be higher in one area than in the other. Generally, the treatment cost reflects the cost of living in that area. Larger towns might have higher costs compared to smaller ones.
The Chao Pinhole Surgical technique cost is comparatively the same as traditional gum grafts since material costs are lower when using your gum for the treatments.
Most dental insurance policies cover the Lunchtime Gum Lift procedure if it’s done for health reasons instead of cosmetic reasons. Consult your insurance company first to know whether the treatment is covered or not, and if it’s covered, to what extent.
Advantages of Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Procedure
The benefits of The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique include:
- Gum recession can be corrected in as few as one treatment.
- Minimal swelling and discomfort after treatment since the technique are graft-free, suture-free, and scalpel-free, and the procedure is minimally invasive.
- No need to take donor tissue from your palate.
- Quick recovery. The pinhole or pinholes heal in twenty-four hours in many cases.
- Long-lasting results.
- You will require only over-the-counter painkillers after treatment.
- Treatment sessions are completed in as few as one to two hours in most cases.
- The procedure helps prevent tooth loss, thus preventing the need for other expensive treatment options such as dentures or dental implants.
- It achieves a more attractive and youthful appearance.
- Most patients resume their usual chores within twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
- Patients usually describe feeling happier because of being capable of smiling without guilt or shame associated with unattractive receded gums.
Find a General Dentist Near Me
Gum recession can be a discouraging issue to deal with since it directly impacts your appearance. It significantly affects your self-confidence, not to talk of the associated health concerns. Luckily, if you’ve been afraid before about having your receding gums treated due to the nature of the traditional gum grafting procedure, consider consulting a dentist specializing in the pinhole gum rejuvenation technique.
At Washington Dental, we have a team of dentists and experts in Pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery to treat gum recession. If you wish to undergo this procedure in Lomita, CA, please reach out to us for a cost-free consultation. We’ll address all your concerns, answer any questions you have, and conduct a thorough evaluation to determine whether you are an ideal candidate. Call us today at 310-326-5183 to schedule an appointment and start the journey to repairing receding gums and improving your dental health.