Pinhole® Surgical Technique

Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation

The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, also known as Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™, was invented and patented by John Chao, D.D.S.  It is a scalpel-free, suture-free, graft-free, minimally invasive procedure for correcting gum recession and saving teeth. Through a small hole made by a needle, specially designed instruments are used to gently loosen the gum tissue and glide it over the receded part of the tooth.  Since there is no cutting or stitching, patients can expect minimal postoperative symptoms (pain, swelling and bleeding).  Patients are pleasantly surprised by the instant cosmetic improvement.  Most patients are able to resume light normal activities within 24-48 hours after treatment (excluding working out and strenuous activities). 

Dr. A. Sidney Lyons is certified in performing the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique for treating gum recession, also known as Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™. 

WHAT IS GUM RECESSION? Gum recession is the process in which the margin of the gum tissue that protects the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth root.  When gum recession occurs, “pockets” or gaps form between the teeth and gum line, therefore, making it easy for disease causing bacteria to build up and destroy teeth. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damage and may ultimately result in tooth loss and even severe health consequences.  Gum recession is a common dental problem and most people do not know that they have gum recession because it occurs gradually.  The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity or you may notice teeth that look longer than normal.  Typically a notch can be felt near the gum line.  Do not ignore gum recession.  Early detection and treatment is essential to maintaining your overall health and saving teeth. 


  • Periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and the supporting bone that holds teeth in place. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession and loss of teeth. Due to genetic, some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.
  • Aggressive tooth bushing. Brushing teeth and gums too hard can cause gum recession.
  • Insufficient dental care. Inadequate brushing and flossing make it easy for plaque to turn into calculus (tartar) – a hard substance that builds on and between teeth. This type of plaque can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.
  • Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy and menopause can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.
  • Tobacco products. Tobacco users are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove and can cause gum recession.
  • Grinding and clenching teeth. Clenching or grinding teeth can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede. Clenching during sleep is a common cause of gum recession.
  • Crooked teeth or misaligned bite. When teeth do not come together evenly, excessive force can be place on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.
  • Body piercing of the lip or tongue. Jewelry can rub the gums and cause irritation to the point that gum tissue is worn away.

Benefits of the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique

Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ Procedure

  • Can correct gum recession in as little as one (1) treatment session and can be completed in as little as 1-2 hours, in many cases.
  • Minimal discomfort and swelling in most cases because the method is scalpel-free, suture-free, and graft-free.
  • Long term results per the International Journal of Periodontology & Restorative Dentistry (October 2012).
  • The pinholes heal in 24 hours in most cases.
  • Only two (2) over-the-counter pain medications are required after treatment, on average, per the study in the International Journal of Periodontology & Restorative Dentistry (October 2012).
  • Can prevent tooth loss and the need for other costly procedures, such as implants or dentures.
  • Most patients are back to normal light activities within 24-48 hours post procedure.The Pinhole® Surgical Technique Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ technique does not require scalpels, sutures or other invasive surgical tools. Patients treated with this technique experience less discomfort and faster recovery as compared to traditional grafting where “donor” tissue is taken from the patient’s palate. Other benefits include faster recovery for the patient than with traditional gum grafting; long-lasting results; natural-looking smiles and gum issues that can often be treated in one visit. Here are examples of cases that Dr. Lyons has performed the Pinhole® Surgical Technique Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™. 

Before Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation

After Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation

For more information see the video below. If you would like to schedule an appointment regarding The Pinhole® Surgical Technique Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™  procedure, contact our office at 215-538-9505, and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.