About Gum Recession
Receding gums, which is also known as gingival recession, is an extremely common complaint by dental patients. Unfortunately, as we age, gum recession becomes more and more common. In fact, for patients aged 18-64, 50% have noticed recession. Once patients have reached the age of 65, over 85% of them have experienced some level of gingival recession. Traditionally, the most common way to treat receding gums was through soft-tissue grafting. While this used to be the only main method to treat gingival recession, many patients have found themselves hesitant to pursue treatment because gum grafts can be painful, and if more than one tooth is involved, it can be long process to treat all the teeth involved. Nowadays, there is a new technique called The Pinhole Surgical Technique, which is a modern alternative to the old-fashioned gum graft. Dr. Jett is one of the only clinicians in the Central Valley who offers The Pinhole Surgical Technique as a service. The Pinhole Surgical Technique is faster, significantly less painful, and offers a long-term solution to dealing with receding gums.
GINGIVAL RECESSION CAUSES
If you have experienced a receding gumline, you may wonder why this has occurred. Gingival recession is the dental term for when gum tissue recedes and exposes more of the tooth and root surface. When the root surface of a tooth is exposed, problems can occur. Root surface is supposed to be protected by bone and gingival tissue, as it is not as hard as tooth enamel. Root exposure leads to pain, sensitivity, an increased risk of cavities, changes in smile appearance, and can even result in long-term tooth loss.
There are many reasons for gum recession or the appearance of “long teeth.” The largest cause is genetics. Genetics play a big role in a patient’s susceptibility to periodontal disease, or gum disease, and this is the leading cause of gum recession. Without treatment, periodontal disease results in significant tooth loss, as well as other medical problems that can cause serious damage. Gingival recession can also be caused by a lack of proper dental care, an overly aggressive brushing technique, occlusal (biting) trauma, lip or tongue piercings, or hormonal changes. Luckily, the Pinhole Gum Graft can help to manage and reverse this damage.
WHAT IS THE PINHOLE SURGICAL TECHNIQUE?
The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive alternative to treating gingival recession. In stark contrast to traditional soft-tissue grafting, the Pinhole Surgical Technique starts by creating a very small pinhole in the gum tissue that is receding. Once the pinhole has been placed, a device is placed into the hole that stretches the gum tissue. The gum tissue can now be placed in a more suitable and healthier position around the affected teeth. In other words, the gums are brought back toward their original position. Once the gums are in the proper position, Dr. Jett then inserts small collagen strips into the pinhole. Soft tissue grafting required multiple sutures to keep the new tissue in place. With the Pinhole Surgical Technique, the collagen strips keep the gum tissue in the proper location and sutures are often avoided. The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a much more minimally invasive treatment, and it allows Dr. Jett to help create healthy new tissue to restore the gum tissue.
ADVANTAGES TO THE PINHOLE SURGICAL TECHNIQUE
The biggest advantage to the Pinhole Gum Graft is there is no blade, scalpel, stitches, or tissue taken from the roof of your mouth! It truly is a minimally invasive procedure.
Another major advantage to the Pinhole Surgical Technique is that many teeth can be treated in one sitting. Grafting, on the other hand, would require multiple surgical sessions in order to treat multiple areas, which also means healing would take longer. With the Pinhole Surgical Technique, a patient can have a full mouth treated at once. This saves the patient time in the long run, since it only involves healing one time. Speaking of healing, another major advantage to the Pinhole Surgical Technique is that the overall healing process is not as painful, nor is it as long, as the older methods of gum grafting.
PINHOLE SURGICAL TECHNIQUE CANDIDACY
When considering the Pinhole Surgical Technique, it is important for you and Dr. Jett to discuss whether or not you are a good candidate for this particular procedure. Patients who are good candidates are:
- Patient looking for a less-invasive technique to treating their gingival recession.
- Patients with mild to moderate gingival recession.
- Patients with an uneven gum line.
- Patients who have a higher risk of tooth decay due to gingival recession.
Dr. Jett will consult with you to review your case and determine if the Pinhole Surgical Technique is a good option for you.
Find Out What PST Can Do For You
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Jett to discuss your options. Call 512.949.8202 or fill out this form to request an appointment.
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