What's the Difference Between Pinhole Grafting and Traditional Grafting?

What's the Difference Between Pinhole Grafting and Traditional Grafting?

Pinhole gum grafting and traditional gum grafting are two different techniques used in periodontal (gum) surgery to treat gum recession and restore gum tissue. While they’re used to treat the same problem, pinhole grafting is a less invasive alternative to a traditional gum graft.

Here at Manhasset Dental ArtsDr. Elizabeth AbramsDr. Michael Abrams, and our team have the expertise and experience to offer pinhole gum grafting. Let’s explore why this might be your best option.

How pinhole gum grafting and traditional gum grafting are different

In addition to being less invasive, the pinhole gum grafting technique can also be used to treat a few areas in a single session. Smaller and less invasive treatments also mean shorter recovery times and less risk of complications like infection and bleeding.

Pinhole gum grafting involves gently repositioning your gum tissue around your affected tooth using small needles and proprietary tools to loosen the existing gum tissue and cover the root to restore the gumline.

The pinhole “graft” is reinforced using platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) to stimulate healing and rejuvenation.

Since it doesn’t require an incision, you don’t have to worry about stitches or a painful and extended recovery period. You can also cut down the time it takes to restore your gumline — and your oral health — if you have multiple areas of gum recession.

How traditional gum grafting works

With a traditional gum graft, the root is covered with surgically placed donor tissue. This means that the donor tissue will have to be removed from either your palette or another piece of your own gum tissue or a tissue bank. 

The graft is surgically attached, so you’ll need an incision and stitches to secure the graft in place (including the incision to remove the tissue from your palette or gums). 

The post-op recovery period after a traditional gum graft may be more involved and require that you take specific steps as your incisions heal.

Unlike the pinhole procedure, a traditional gum graft only treats one area at a time.

Is a traditional gum graft or pinhole gum grafting right for me?

If you’ve experienced gum recession and have one or more roots exposed, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage and manage your risk of developing advanced gum disease (periodontitis). 

At our practice, we perform a comprehensive dental exam and review your oral health history before recommending the best treatment for you. If you have mild to moderate gum recession, pinhole gum grafting may be a good option for you.

Depending on the severity of gum loss and your overall oral health, a traditional gum graft may be a better option in some cases.

If you have other oral health issues like gum disease or tooth decay, we may recommend treatment for them before your gum graft.

How to protect your overall oral health

The best way to protect your smile and your oral health is to practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco products, and get regular preventive dental care to catch problems as quickly as possible. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental exam, schedule an appointment as soon as you can.

Problems like gum recession and early gum disease can be hard to miss and may not always produce symptoms until they’ve advanced, so it’s important to come in for regular checkups and care.

For more information about how pinhole gum grafting works and to find out if it’s right for you, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Manhasset, New York.

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