James A. DiPerna, DMD
Amber M.S. Foronda, DMD
David C. Hay, DMD, MPH
RIDC/Fox Chapel Office

(412) 963-1911 | View Map

Warrendale Office

(724) 262-2333 | View Map

Our Procedures

Pinhole Surgical Technique

Gum Recession Treatment

With the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique (PSTTM)

A rejuvenated smile and no sensitive roots

Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST)Gum recession not only makes your teeth appear longer, aging your smile, it can also cause painful tooth sensitivity to temperatures and sweets. Pittsburgh periodontists, Dr. DiPerna and Dr. Hay use minimally invasive microsurgical techniques to perform cutting edge gum recession treatment and gum grafts. As periodontists, our doctors specialize in treating gum tissue and understand the nuances of treating recession with the Pinhole Surgical Technique and other types of gum grafting. This allows them to recommend and deliver the best possible treatment to their patients.

Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST™)

Our doctors are among the first group of dentists and periodontists in Pittsburgh, PA 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™ and the Lunchtime Gum Lift, has been covered in numerous television news stories and newspaper articles across the country.

Receding gums can make anyone look older

Receding gums can make anyone look older, often cause tooth sensitivity, and if severe, may lead to tooth loss. Gum recession can be caused by many factors such as excessive tooth brushing, gum disease, or naturally thin gum tissue. In many patients, there are a number of factors that add together to cause gum recession.

"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. DiPerna.

Treatment Process

Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) vs Conventional Gum Grafting The area of gum recession is numbed with a local anesthetic and, depending on the number of teeth to be treated, small entry points about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen are made in the gum, near the teeth to be treated. Small, specialized, instruments designed by Dr. Chao are inserted into the entry points to carefully loosen the gum tissues and move them back into a normal, healthy position. Then, tiny collagen strips are placed under the gums through the entry points. The collagen helps to keep the gums in place during the healing process. The entry sites quickly heal and are virtually undetectable the next day. Because there are no incisions, healing occurs quickly and without any scarring, for an extremely natural and esthetic appearance. Some patients may experience swelling, which is normal and dissipates in a few days.

Success Rates

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 showed that the Pinhole Surgical Technique can be as successful as traditional gum grafting procedures, without the need for incisions and sutures. Many patients who underwent the Pinhole Surgical Technique™ reported virtually no pain, no bleeding and high satisfaction with the rapid transformation of their gum line.