The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique™, is a new minimally invasive option for treating receding gums without the pain and recovery time required with gum grafting surgery. Dr. Cochrane is among the first group of dentists and periodontists to be trained in the new technique, invented and patented by Los Angeles dentist Dr. John Chao. The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique™, also known as Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ has been covered in numerous television news stories and newspaper articles across the country and will soon be featured on national television.
Receding gums can make anyone look older, often cause tooth sensitivity and may lead to tooth loss. Gum recession can be caused by excessive tooth brushing, gum disease or the normal aging process. “Many people are unaware of the condition until their teeth become sensitive to cold temperatures because of root exposure. Others may be concerned by the unsightly appearance of their receding gums,” says Dr. Cochrane
“The standard treatment for receding gums is gum grafting surgery, a painful and invasive procedure in which a section of gum tissue must be cut out of the palate, then sewn on to the affected area,” says Dr. Cochrane. “Because of the pain and recovery time, dentists can usually treat only one or two teeth at a time, then wait for the patient to heal before treating additional teeth. For a patient with several recessions, the treatment process could take months or even years.”
The Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ takes just a few minutes per tooth and most importantly, multiple teeth may be treated at the same time, allowing patients to have healthy, normal-looking gums with a minimum of inconvenience.
The Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ treatment process:
The area of gum recession is numbed with a local anesthetic and depending on the number of recessions to be treated, one or two small entry points about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen are made in the gum area near the tooth or teeth to be treated.
A small dental instrument designed by Dr. Chao is inserted into the entry point to loosen the gum tissues and move them back into a normal, healthy position. Then tiny collagen strips are placed through the entry point under the gums. The collagen helps to keep the gums in place during the healing process. The treatment takes about 20 minutes to an hour or so, depending on the number of teeth treated. The entry site quickly heals and the pinhole is virtually undetectable the next day, with no downtime needed for healing. Some patients may experience mild swelling, which dissipates in a few days.
A 33-month study of 43 patients with 121 gum recessions using the Pinhole Surgical Technique™ was published in the October 2012, issue of The International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry. The results of this study were as successful as traditional gum grafting procedures which require cutting and sutures, while patients who underwent the Pinhole Surgical Technique™ reported virtually no pain, no bleeding and high satisfaction with a rapid transformation of the defective gum line. (Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2012; 32: 521-531.)
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