Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation - Markham Woodbine Dental

What is Gum Recession?

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. The dark yellow root of the tooth is exposed and a notch can be felt near the gum line.  Not only is this unaesthetic, but when gum recession occurs, “pockets” form between the teeth and the gum line, making it easy for disease causing bacteria to build up and cause gum disease.

If left untreated, the surrounding bone and gums can be severely damaged and may ultimately result in tooth loss and even severe health consequences.  Early detection and treatment is essential to maintaining overall health and saving teeth.

Why You Should Choose Pinhole?

Compared to traditional gum grafting, the Pinhole Surgical Technique is a faster procedure, is more comfortable, is less invasive, is less painful, and has a faster recovery time.  There is no additional surgery to obtain a graft.

The New Way to Treat Gum Recession

The Pinhole® Surgical Technique/ Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation® invented and patented by John Chao, D.D.S., is a scalpel-free, suture-free procedure for treating gum recession.

This procedure is performed by making a tiny hole in the gum tissue. Using specially designed instruments, the gum tissue is loosened and guided over the receded part of the tooth. Since there is no cutting or stitching, patients can expect minimal post-operative symptoms (pain, swelling and bleeding). Most patients also are pleasantly surprised by the instant cosmetic improvement.

Before and After

Photos are property of Pinhole Surgical Technique




Photos are property of Dr.Zhang

Top 10 Benefits of the Pinhole®

  1. Can correct gum recession in as little as 1 treatment session.
  2. Minimal discomfort and swelling in most cases because the method is scalpel-free, suture-free and graft-free.
  3. Long term results per the International Journal of Periodontology & Restorative Dentistry. (October 2012)
  4. The pinholes heal in 24 hours in most cases.
  5. Only 2 over-the-counter pain pills required after treatment on average per the study in the Int. Journal of Periodontology & RestorativeDentistry. (October 2012)
  6. Can prevent tooth loss and the need for other costly procedures such as implants or dentures.
  7. Treatment sessions can be completed in as little as 1-2 hours in many cases.
  8. Can enhance a more youthful and attractive appearance.
  9. Patients often describe feeling happier due to being able to smile without the shame or guilt associated with ugly receded gums.
  10. Most patients are back to normal light activities within 24-48 hours post procedure.

Call us: (647)370-2340

The Pinhole Process

pinhole gum recession free evaluation
Gum Health Evaluation

Completing a comprehensive gum health evaluation is a requirement prior to any gum surgery


Review the treatment plan – we will send a predetermination submission to your insurance at this time

pinhole gum recession dental cleaning
Dental Cleaning

 A dental cleaning is recommended prior to the Pinhole® treatment. Dental cleanings are not recommended until 3 months after the surgery

Post-operative Instructions

Once you have decided to book your Pinhole® treatment, you will be provided with post-operative instructions, which should be reviewed prior to the surgery

pinhole gum recession operation

Pinhole® treatment day – the procedure takes approximately 1 hour

pinhole gum recession followup

Attend follow-up appointments the next day, after 1 week, three weeks and 6 weeks after your Pinhole® treatment

About our Clinic

Comfortable Dentistry. We do that.

Markham Woodbine Dental – comfortable dentistry meets technology.  We are dedicated to bringing advancements in technology to the dental chair.  From computer assisted freezing to digital 3D scans, our mission at Markham Woodbine Dental is to use dental technology to reduce pain, discomfort and length of treatment.  Less discomfort = more smiles.
Call us: (647)370-2340


How is the Pinhole® Surgical Technique different from traditional grafting?

The Pinhole® Surgical Technique is a minimally-invasive alternative to traditional bone grafting to treat gum recession.  Unlike traditional grafts, the Pinhole® surgery does not require the use of a scalpel, sutures or a secondary surgery to harvest a graft.  With the Pinhole® treatment, Special instruments are used to elevate the gum without cutting the gums and a protein called collagen is placed under the gums to stabilize it during healing.  Multiple teeth or even the whole mouth can be treated at once with the Pinhole® technique.

Am I a good candidate for the Pinhole® surgery?

The Pinhole® surgery is a minimally-invasive treatment for gum recession.  It is designed to restore the gums to a natural healthy state by covering exposed roots and thickening the gum tissue to prevent further recession.  Patients must not have active gum disease (also known as periodontitis) at the time of the Pinhole® Surgery.

A complete gum evaluation prior to the Pinhole® Surgery is important to a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A complete gum evaluation includes the following:

  • Complete pocket and gum health charting for all teeth
  • 3D digital scan and intra-oral photos for complete record-keeping
  • Detailed evaluation of the gum health, including complete diagnoses
  • Discussion of treatment options and alternative options
  • Phased approached treatment plan with costs is provided

How much does the Pinhole® treatment cost?

The Pinhole® Surgical Technique typically cost less than traditional grafting because extra surgery, (i.e. harvesting a graft from the roof of the mouth) is not required with the Pinhole® treatment. The cost of the Pinhole® treatment depends on the number of teeth requiring treatment and averages approximately $1,750 to $3,500 per site. The Pinhole® procedure is covered by most private dental insurances. Our clinic will send a predetermination to your insurance company on your behalf prior to treatment.

What happens when gum recession is left untreated?

When gum recession occurs, “pockets,” or gaps, form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up.  If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged, and may ultimately result in tooth loss.


As with any chronic disease, prevention and early treatment is important.  Delayed or late-stage gum recession treated using any surgical procedure is not as effective as prevention or early interventions.  We do not expect the gums to fully cover the roots after treatment for teeth with existing bone loss.

Is the Pinhole® Surgical Technique painful?

The gums are locally anesthetized (frozen) during treatment so patients do not feel anything during the procedure.  Full body sedation (general anesthesia) is not required.  Everyone experiences pain differently.  Most patients feel discomfort after the procedure and take 1-2 tablets of Advil or Tylenol the day of the surgery and do not require additional pain management 24 hours post-treatment.

How long does it take to recover after the Pinhole® Surgery?

The recovery period is a process, which is different for each patient.   Most patients experience the following recovery process:

1-2 Days Post-Surgery: Most patients are back to daily light activity with very soft diet, gentle brushing all areas except surgery site

1 Week Post-Surgery: Most patients are back to their daily activity with normal soft diet, normal brushing all areas except surgery site

3 Weeks Post-Surgery: All patients are back to their daily activity with normal soft diet, normal brushing all areas except surgery site

6 Weeks Post-Surgery: All patients are back to their daily activity with normal diet, normal brushing/flossing

What kind of precautions do I need to take after the Pinhole® Surgery?

The Pinhole® Surgery is meant to be done once and the results are permanent.  The results from the Pinhole® Surgery can last indefinitely provided that certain lifestyle changes are made, such as wearing a night guard if grinding at night, proper and gentle brushing of the teeth and gums and bite problems are corrected.  If substantial forces are continuously placed on the gum tissue and surrounding area, a relapse can occur.  A high majority of patients will not require re-treatment in their lifetime provided that post-operative instructions are followed and care is taken to avoid further gum recession.

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About Dr. Zhang

My Passion

Having struggled with dental anxiety for the majority of my childhood, I am passionate about creating a caring and comfortable environment for my patients.  The tools for comfortable dentistry exist and it’s my passion to eliminate discomfort and anxiety during a dental visit.

My Training

During my training at Sunnybrook Hospital, I had the opportunity to learn from leading oral surgeons, pathologists and dental anaesthesiologists.  I was exposed to a wide range of challenging clinical cases, as well as treated many medically compromised patients. My collective experiences at Sunnybrook have shaped the dentist I am today. 

Most Rewarding Dental Experience

I’ve had the privilege to provide dentistry in remote, underserviced areas in rural Ontario (Moose Factory and Sioux Lookout).  Many communities are only accessible by flight and some do not have consistent dental access. Despite the frigid (-40C) winters, I was blown away by the spirit and kindness of these communities.   The final leg of my Northern Adventure was in Geraldton, ON where I lived for over a year and have made a lasting impression on the beauty of Northern Ontario. 


  • Bachelor of Health Sciences, McMaster University, ON
  • Dentistry, University of Toronto, ON

Continuing Education

  • Dental Residency, Sunnybrook Hospital, ON
  • Moderate IV Sedation Certified, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario
  • Pinhole Surgical Technique, Chao Seminars, Alhambra, California
  • Invisalign, Align Technology, San Jose, California 
  • Orthodontics for the GP, Rondeau Seminars, London, ON
  • Biohorizons Implant Placement Program, Markham, ON


Tel: (647) 370-2340


Working Hours:
Monday – Tuesday: 09:00 am – 07:00 pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday – Friday: 09:00 am – 07:00 pm
Saturday: 09:00 am – 06:00 pm

8787 Woodbine Ave. Suite #130
Markham, ON L3R 9S2