Surgical treatment of buccal soft tissue recessions around single implants: 1-year results from a prospective pilot study

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of a soft tissue dehiscence coverage technique, at single non-submerged implant sites, presenting shallow isolated buccal mucosal recession.

Material and Methods:

Sixteen patients were included in this prospective study. A connective tissue graft (CTG) was harvested from the maxillary tuberosity. The donor soft tissue was de-epithelialized and trimmed with a mucotome for an optimal adaptation to the collar of the implant.


Surgery and healing proceeded with no complications and minimal post-operative discomfort. One-year follow-up demonstrated clinical and esthetic improvements. Treatment resulted in 89.6 ± 13.1% mean coverage, and complete implant soft tissue coverage was achieved in nine of 16 cases, corresponding to a 56.3%. The VAS esthetic analysis showed a significant improvement from 3.6 ± 0.2 to 8.5 ± 0.3.


These positive preliminary results suggest that, by means of the surgical technique presented, buccal soft tissue dehiscences around single implants can be successfully treated. Additional Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) should be encouraged to assess the most effective variation to the technique in the various clinical situations and around implants of different designs.

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