Pinhole FAQs

Hopefully the Answers below will help educate you further about PST…if you have more questions, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation to address those questions.

How much does PST cost?

PST Costs depend on the amount of teeth being treated…it can be as low as $600/tooth and as high as $1400/tooth. This depends on the severity of the recession as well. A patient with generalized recession on every tooth can expect lower fees per tooth. This is primarily due to the procedure and its benefits. Because we can treat every tooth in your mouth at the same visit, our costs are simply lower when more teeth are treated at the same visit. Also, we can complete the treatment much faster than traditional grafting and are not limited by the donor site constraints of traditional surgery.

Does Insurance Cover PST?

We have not had any concerns getting insurance coverage for this procedure.  This is covered as a “periodontal” procedure, which requires full documentation and we only recommend PST for teeth that would be covered under insurance plans definitions.  We wait for payment for all insurance companies, and estimate your portion at the time of consultation based on your coverage table.  Due to the nature of the procedure, many times we treat “borderline” recession free of charge when it resides on a tooth next to a teeth that require PST.

Before PST: anything else I need to know?

Before we schedule PST treatment, we thoroughly review the causes of gum recession to minimize recession from reoccuring. Sometimes that will include changing your brushing technique (heavy brusher), nightguard (clencher/grinder), or overall home care improvement (periodontal disease). We want your teeth to be immaculately clean for PST, so a cleaning should be done with the week prior to PST treatment. We will remove all restorations (i.e. gum line fillings) before we start treatment, as the repositioned gum tissue will only re-attach to natural root structure. Depending on the amount of overall tissue and bone loss around a tooth, or expected result may not completely cover the root surface. We will review expected outcomes during your consultation as there are specific classifications of gum destruction. The earlier we intercept the recession, the better the outcome. For those that are interested in a study on this procedure, here is a 33 month study on Pinhole Surgical Technique . Simply, when advanced recession exists, including the ‘in between” gum tissue receding, we may expect partial root coverage.

Diet Restrictions after PST?

While you can eat whatever you like the night after the procedure, we recommend avoiding food that can traumatize the gum tissue (chips, nuts, steak, chicken). For the first few days, we recommend taking it easy and using the rule that if you can cut it with a fork, it is okay to eat. We do not want food to accumulate between your teeth, so stringy foods like chicken and steak should be avoided until we let you know it is okay to eat without restrictions (typically 1 week). We also ask that you “take it easy” following PST, keeping vigorous activities out of your schedule for the 3 days following treatment. Please ask Dr Svans about any concerns you have with post op restrictions.

What should I expect after PST?

Once we have completed PST treatment, the most common post op concern is inflammation due to the soft tissue manipulation. Immediately following the procedure, we recommend icing for the first 48 hours. This is the most important part of post op care. Patients typically tell there is little, to very minor pain (1-2 on a scale of 10). We ask our patients not to brush the treated area until we clear them to brush (typically a few weeks). Otherwise, you can eat a normal diet the night of the procedure with very minimal restrictions to home care and diet.

Can PST treat all sites in one visit?

It is actually recommended that you treat all of the recession in one visit, or one visit for the upper teeth and one visit for the lower teeth. We can also treat generalized recession with PST in small sections, but it will require more time, thus cost. We can treat an entire mouth (28 teeth!) in about 3 hours, or an arch in 90 minutes. We can also treat areas selectively—if you have one specific tooth with gum recession, we can complete teatment in 30 minutes or less. Please see our Gallery of Before and Afters for more detail.

I’ve never heard of PST before…why doesn’t every dentist offer PST?

You may not be familiar with PST, but the concept has been around for a long time. Prior to the Pinhole concept, repositioning the tissue towards the crown of the tooth has been done using an incision (which required sutures) versus through a 0.1 inch pinhole. Much like arthroscopic surgery, Pinhole Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive surgery resulting in minimal trauma to the existing tissue. PST is the only recession correction treatment that does not require cutting and/or suturing. The long term results are identical to traditional grafting techniques, if not better. The tissue never loses its natural blood supply (unlike grafted peices of tissue), so re-vascularizaiton of the grafted tissue is not applicable, thus not a concern. Dr Erik Svans is one of 2000 PST Certified Dentists in the World, and the procedure and its instruments are patented by Dr John Chao DDS, JD. Specialized training by Dr Chao is required in order to provide Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.