Gum lifting with the pinhole surgical technique

Worldwide, there are more than 2,000 dentists who are authorized to employ the pinhole surgical technique (PST) as developed by Dr. John Chao (Los Angeles, USA) using his patented instruments. Dentist Christian Bärenklau is proud to be one of the first to offer this gum lifting technique in Germany and Europe. Needless to say, a thorough consultation is needed before undergoing pinhole surgery. In the context of an examination, the possibilities, limitations and costs of gum lifting with the pinhole surgical technique can be discussed. In addition, it is essential to completely eradicate the causes of gum loss before the pinhole surgical technique is used.

Minimally invasive pinhole surgical technique

Due to be exposed tooth neck, gingival recession is more than an aesthetic problem. In an extreme case, gum loss can also cause the teeth to loosen and fall out. In 2006, the American dentist, Dr. John Chao, thus introduced the minimally invasive pinhole surgical technique. Minimally invasive means minimal incisions. This is because no scalpel is employed in the method, in contrast to conventional gingiva restoration, which used to involve long, complex transplants. The secret of the pinhole surgical technique is the method itself. The gingiva is loosened and moved to a new position through a small access hole (pinhole) in the gums. Special instruments developed by Dr. Chao are needed to perform the method. The tissue is then lifted as gently as possible in the pinhole surgical technique.


Study on the pinhole surgical technique

Following pinhole surgery, many patients want to know how long a gum lift lasts. This question can be answered by looking at the results of a long-term study. Patients were observed for 33 months after having undergone pinhole surgery. Healing is quick after PST, and the gingiva was completely intact in more than 90% of the investigated cases.

Limits to the pinhole surgical technique

For pinhole surgery to be successful, the restored gingiva must be handled with care. It is therefore essential to identify and eliminate the causes of gum loss before gum lifting with PST. If the wrong tooth brushing technique was used beforehand, it needs to be corrected. The pinhole surgical technique cannot be used for active smokers; they first need to break the habit. For patients who are wearing an implant in the jaw bone, it is necessary to check whether an improvement by PST is expected in the corresponding region. The gingiva will not be able to grow onto the surface of the foreign body. Pinhole surgery is a one-time, quick solution that is pain-free for most patients; however, it is subject to medical restrictions. There are instances in which it cannot be used, for example when excessive bone loss prevents gum lifting.

The PST check

Almost every day, we receive questions about the pinhole surgical technique from interested parties outside of Munich. Whoever is interested in gum lifting has the opportunity of undergoing a non-binding initial PST examination by dentist Christian Bärenklau. In this examination, it is determined whether treatment with pinhole surgery is generally feasible. First, a preferably high resolution photograph of the gums in the upper and lower jaw is submitted. The focus should lie on the transition between the gums and teeth. This is the location where, using the pinhole surgical technique, gum lifting will occur. In addition, it would be ideal to have a panoramic x-ray from your local dentist that provides information on the bone structure. Please note that any x-rays that are sent by e-mail are subject to confidentiality.