Pinhole Surgical Technique

A Breakthrough Treatment for Gum Recession

The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) is a minimally invasive option for treating gum recession. The best part? Unlike traditional grafting techniques, PST is incision and suture free.


Dr. Mark Leopold is an experienced Pinhole® Surgical Technique-certified provider who completed professional training in 2004 and recently graduated from an advanced course in 2018. He has treated over 60 patients and 187 teeth with PST.

Dr. Ian Leopold was also certified as a Pinhole® Surgical Technique provider in 2019 and is excited to offer this innovative technique to his patients with gum recession.

During the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, a needle is used to make a small hole in the patient’s existing gum tissue. Through this pinhole, special instruments are used to gently loosen the gum tissue. These tools help expand and slide the gumline to cover the exposed root structure.






  • Natural looking, long-lasting results
  • Faster patient recovery than traditional grafting
  • No need for uncomfortable sutures
  • No need for scalpels or invasive surgical tools
  • No need to take donor tissue from the patient’s palate
  • Much less discomfort than traditional grafting


Gum Recession 101

When gum recession occurs, the root structure of the tooth becomes exposed. This means that tooth decay and other problems can affect the teeth along the gumline and beneath it – leaving teeth vulnerable to disease-causing bacteria.

Tooth sensitivity is a common first sign of gum recession. You may also notice that your teeth appear larger than normal.

Since healthy gums are essential for a healthy mouth, getting gum recession treated is important for lasting dental wellness. We encourage you to be mindful of the warning signs above, because early detection and treatment is critical to saving your teeth.

If you think that your gums may be receding, please contact SLO SMILES at (805) 541-0550 and we will book you an appointment right away.

Ignoring gum recession is dangerous to your health. Why? If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of your teeth can be severely damaged and may ultimately result in tooth loss. Gum recession is a common dental problem and most people do not know that they have gum recession because it occurs gradually.



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 genetics, some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 47.2% of the adult population suffers from gum disease.

Aggressive tooth brushing
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 b 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 the bacteria that can cause 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 a misaligned bite
When teeth do not come together evenly, excessive force can be placed 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.

How can I learn more about the Pinhole Surgical Technique?

If you want to learn more about gum recession and the Pinhole Surgical Technique, call us at (805) 541-0550 and we’ll be happy to answer questions directly or schedule an in-person appointment with Dr. Mark Leopold or Dr. Ian Leopold. Visit the links below to read more about the Pinhole Surgical Technique in the news!

Dentist Invents Lunchtime Gum Lift To Treat Receding Gums With No Grafting

Receding Gums Treated With New Technique: No Cutting, No Stitches

The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique Goes International – Dentists Learn Treatment For Receding gums Without Grafting

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