Pedicled Lingual Flap to Provide Keratinized Tissue Regeneration Over Dental Implants: A Description of the Technique and a Case Report

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to report the efficacy of a lingual pedicle flap for soft tissue pre-prosthetic surgery in implant rehabilitation. While it has been demonstrated that keratinized gingiva is an important factor for implant success, there remains a dearth of case reports concerning the use of a lingual pedicle flap to achieve this desired outcome in such a large reconstructive effort. For this case report, the patient underwent an anterior mandibular resection of an ameloblastoma and subsequent reconstruction, resulting in soft tissue loss. To satisfy the patient's desires, both functionally and esthetically, a bilateral rotated pedicled lingual flap was performed to augment keratinized tissue on the anterior mandibular ridge. An additional vestibuloplasty with two collagen matrices was also performed, and an acrylic splint was then applied to achieve better stabilization. The primary outcome was to evaluate the efficacy of this technique, which, until now, was used only for exposed root coverage. The site demonstrated excellent healing over time, even resulting in an excess of healthy and pink soft tissue, which later had to be corrected with a small gingivectomy. Although the patient reported slight discomfort for a few days after surgery, she was nonetheless pleased both with her ability to function and her appearance. The results of this study show that the bilateral rotated pedicled lingual flap is a viable technique for the correction of soft tissue defects in implant dentistry, providing a good amount of keratinized gingiva.

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