The Benefits of the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique

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Healthy gums are pink, firm, and wrap tautly around your teeth, anchoring them securely in place. When your gums recede, or pull away from the teeth, your tooth roots may become exposed — with serious and painful consequences including tooth loss.

The conventional treatment for severely receded gums is gum grafting, in which the doctor must harvest healthy tissue from your mouth (or use donor tissue) and stitch it over the receded areas. While effective, grafting requires cutting and stitching, which means the procedure involves significant post-surgical discomfort and a lengthy healing process.

We have a better way to restore your receded gums. Dr. Ryan Shepherd is the first dentist in New Mexico to be certified in the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique.

To learn more about this groundbreaking and minimally invasive therapy, call Uptown Dental Associates of Albuquerque, NM at 505-407-8781.


Why Gums Recede

Gum recession, or gingival recession, can be caused by a number of factors.

  • Periodontal disease is the most common cause of recession. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar proliferate, causing inflammation and pockets of infection to form between the teeth and the gums.
  • Brushing with too much elbow grease can damage your gum tissue and lead to gingival recession. It’s important to brush thoroughly, but with gentle pressure. And always use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Grinding your teeth, or bruxism, may injure your gums and cause them to pull away from your teeth.
  • Traumatic injury may result in a receded gumline.
  • Genetics may play a role. People with a family history of periodontal disease are more likely to have it — and accompanying gum recession — themselves.


The Pinhole Technique Explained

The patented pinhole technique to correct gum recession was invented by a dentist named John Chao. Doing away with the extensive cutting and stitching required in gum grafting, the procedure is done through a small pinhole Dr. Shepherd will make in your gum. He will gently loosen the surrounding tissue and position it so that it covers the areas that have receded. The doctor will perform your therapy using specially developed tools. The benefits over conventional gum grafting are significant.

  • The technique is far less invasive. We will not have to harvest healthy tissue from your mouth, we will not have to cut or stitch at all. The procedure is entirely scalpel and suture free. You won’t have the painful recovery that generally accompanies gum graft surgery.
  • The treatment is fast — there’s a reason it’s nicknamed “the lunchtime gum lift.” It requires only one visit to our office. And recovery is likewise speedy. Gum grafts may take weeks to heal. Dr. Chao’s pinhole technique takes days or less. Many patients report they are pain free the following morning!
  • Your gums will feel better and look better almost immediately. The results are totally natural looking and long lasting.


If you have been experiencing gum recession and want to find out more about the innovative Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, get in touch with Uptown Dental Associates today. You may call our Albuquerque, NM office at 505-407-8781 or contact us via our online form.