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Alternatives to Gum Graft Surgery: Pinhole® Surgery Technique

Suffering from gum recession can be both a painful experience and unsightly. This common dental problem can affect overall health and wellness and affect a person’s smile… often causing them to feel less confident about their appearance. If you suspect that you are suffering from gum disease, then it is essential to schedule an exam with an experienced dentist right away.

Why Gum Disease Treatment Shouldn’t Be Delayed

Most people with gum recession will experience pain, irritation, and bleeding. These symptoms are uncomfortable and can cause sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks. Gum disease is caused by bacteria that create an infection in the gums. In the early stages, the gums are irritated and uncomfortable, but no irreversible damage has been done yet.
When gum disease is left untreated, it can also lead to tooth and root decay. The gums begin to recede, leaving your teeth and roots at risk to be exposed to bacteria. Eventually, the severe progression of gum disease can cause bone loss and even tooth loss if the gums aren’t strong enough to hold the teeth in place. Additionally, the teeth can appear long and yellowed due to the exposed yellow roots.

Luckily, these serious effects of gum disease can be avoided with prompt treatment. Regular dental visits are helpful to catch gum infections in the early stages. Non-invasive treatments can be used to clear up the infection right away, helping to avoid the long-term damage that occurs from chronic gum infections.

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Alternative to Traditional Gum Recession Treatment

Typical Treatment for Gum Recession:

The traditional way that gum recession is treated involves either removing some of the soft tissue from the roof of your mouth or obtaining donor tissue from a cadaver and grafting this tissue to your existing gums. Patients will experience an improvement in their gum recession; however, this procedure can be very painful. It can take a few weeks to heal after the gum graft surgery. While this treatment is still used, other alternatives to gum graft surgery should be considered.

Alternative to Traditional Gum Recession Treatment: Pinhole® Surgery Technique (PST)

One of the amazing benefits of choosing our dentist, Dr. Jennifer Silver, to be your family dentist is that she is one of four dentists in the entire City of Calgary that is certified in a new way to treat gum recession known as Pinhole® Surgery Treatment (PST). This gum surgery alternative offers an effective option for gum treatment, without the pain and discomfort of a full, invasive gum graft surgery.

The following explains how PST works:

  • Dentist use a needle to make a tiny hole in your gum tissue
  • Specialized tools are used to loosen the existing gum tissue
  • The existing gums are able to stretch and extend
  • The existing gums are used to cover the exposed roots

Benefits of Pinhole® Surgery Technique

PST is an amazing treatment for any patient suffering from gum recession because it can make the entire repair and healing process easier. Patients that undergo PST rather than gum grafting enjoy the following benefits:

  • Less pain usually
  • Recovery time is usually one-two days, rather than weeks
  • No sutures
  • No grafts
  • Roots and other exposed tissues are covered and protected
  • Patient have a healthier mouth and teeth

To schedule a dental consultation and determine if PST is right for you, please contact Southcentre Dental Clinic today. We proudly serve all patients in Calgary, Alberta and make an effort to ensure that all financial needs can be met. Please view more about our financial plans here. Call us at (403) 278-1415.


Only those dentists that are certified in the Pinhole® Surgery Technique can perform this procedure and that is not a very large number. On top of being certified in PST, Dr. Silver takes pride in getting to know his patients and making an effort to be their family doctor for life and ensure that you are comfortable and receive the best-possible care.

Recovery and Care After Pinhole® Surgery

What should you expect after this gum surgery alternative procedure? One of the greatest benefits is that the treatment is noninvasive, which means that the recovery is more comfortable compared to other types of gum graft surgeries.

To ensure the efficacy of the procedure, it is best to treat the affected area with care during the healing period. Be delicate and avoid abrasive scrubbing or flossing. It is important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush because stiff bristles could disrupt gum placement and healing.

Also, it is essential to work with your dentist to address the cause of gum recession. Identifying the underlying reason why the gums pulled back helps you avoid the conditions and causes of these gum problems. As a result, you can minimize the need for additional treatments in the future. Being proactive with your dental care is an effective way to avoid a variety of dental conditions that affect both the gums and teeth.

Cause of Gum Recession

In many cases, gum recession occurs because of untreated periodontal disease, which causes the gums to become infected and pull away from the teeth. Other risk factors might increase the likelihood of gum recession, such as genetics, diabetes, smoking, and poor oral hygiene habits.

Early treatments for gum recession are effective to protect your teeth and avoid the need for gum graft alternatives.
But, if the gum recession reaches the point where the root is exposed, then you shouldn’t hesitate to work with an experienced dental professional for gum surgery alternative options. Not only does an alternative treatment help with tooth and bone protection, but it can also be used to improve your smile. The right balance of gum and tooth visibility are essential to improve the overall appearance of the smile. Gum contouring and other treatments offer an effective solution if you would like to create a uniform gum line.

Are You A Good Candidate for Gum Graft Alternatives?

How do you know if alternatives to gum graft surgery are right for you? Every patient receives a personalized treatment plan based on individual needs and goals. When you visit our office for an exam, we will discuss various dental concerns, such as tooth and gum health. This conversation is designed to help you explore options and design a custom treatment plan.

Gum graft alternatives are not a good fit for everyone. The best solution is to schedule an exam so that our experienced team can evaluate the gum recession and tissue. When the gum recession is mild or moderate, then this alternative might be the right answer. In cases of severe gum recession, it will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis to identify the best treatment.

To schedule a dental consultation and determine if PST is right for you, please contact Southcentre Dental Clinic today. We proudly serve all patients in Calgary, Alberta, and make an effort to ensure that all financial needs can be met.  Call us at (403) 278-1415.

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