Pinhole Gum Surgery - Solution for Receding Gums - Face Value Dental

Pinhole surgery on Albert Street

When our teeth and gums are healthy, our gum tissue fits snugly around the tooth. But if we start to lose that tissue (often called “gum recession”), it can leave the tooth root exposed and may cause problems like pain, sensitivity, and higher risks of decay. If untreated, it can even cause tooth and bone loss.

Dental professionals may recommend different ways to address this issue, such as gum grafting. However, a newer approach is a minimally invasive treatment for gum recession called the pinhole surgical technique.

Dr Don Kelly (BDS Adelaide) is certified in the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST™) and he offers appointments at Face Value Dental in the Brisbane CBD.

If you’re experiencing gum recession, a dentist will likely recommend a full treatment plan based on your circumstances. This article will break down some basics about gum recession, pinhole surgery, and how our clinic can help.

Receding Gums

A lot of tissue types can grow back, but gum tissue doesn’t. Aside from potentially changing the look of your smile, losing this gum tissue can heighten your risk of oral health problems. Causes vary, and sometimes gum recession can happen even when you take really good care of your teeth.

Possible causes include:

  • gum disease
  • gum trauma caused by injuries or brushing your teeth too hard (proper brushing technique, soft-bristled brushes, and electric
  • toothbrushes are all options for reducing this risk)
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • tooth position
  • tooth or lip piercings that rub against the gum
  • partial dentures that aren’t fitted properly
  • genetics (sometimes we’re born with thinner or more fragile gums, or tooth roots that can cause issues).

It’s important to get regular dental check-ups so that your dentist or hygienist can look for signs of tissue loss. But in between check-ups, be on the lookout for any new sensitivity in your teeth. And if you feel dental pain, it’s always best to consider scheduling an appointment.

If a dentist tells you that you’ve lost gum tissue, they’ll typically follow that with a recommendation for a treatment plan. Sometimes this plan can be as simple as correcting your brushing technique, but other cases may need more extensive treatment from a dental professional. The pinhole surgical technique is one of those treatments.

Pinhole surgery, a solution for receding gums

Other recession treatments tend to use donor tissue, grafting, or stitches/sutures.

With the pinhole surgical technique (sometimes called “pinhole gum surgery”), a qualified dental surgeon creates a small hole in the existing gum tissue, which helps them reposition the tissue to cover the exposed root structure.

The benefits include:

  • typically, fewer and smaller incisions
  • less invasive treatment
  • reduced chance of noticeable changes to your gums’ appearance
  • potentially fewer follow-up appointments
  • potentially faster treatment and recovery times.

How much does pinhole surgery cost?

Costs can vary based on your individual needs and treatment plan. Generally, at our clinic, costs tend to range from $1600 to $3200. This usually includes post-surgery follow-up appointments, although the initial consultation is not included and will usually incur a separate cost.

These are just broad cost estimates, though. For estimates that are more tailored to your circumstances, please get in touch with us.


Whether you’ve already received a recommendation for gum recession treatment or you just need a check-up, our friendly team is here to help. We’re located conveniently in the heart of the Brisbane CBD on Albert Street, so lots of our patients pop over on their lunch breaks. We also offer extended hours if you can’t come during the workday.

Regardless of your needs, please get in touch. We’re happy to answer questions or book an appointment for you.

*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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