A new submerged split-thickness skin graft technique to rebuild peri-implant keratinized soft tissue in composite flap reconstructed mandible or maxilla

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The objective of this study was to introduce our preliminary experience on a submerged split-thickness skin graft (STSG) technique combined with secondary vestibuloplasty to rebuild keratinized peri-implant soft tissue and oral vestibule for patients with large oromandibular defects reconstructed by composite flaps.

Patients and Methods

Five patients were enrolled in this study. Stage 1 was submerged STSG and simultaneous implant placement. Stage 2 was the uncovering of the STSG and vestibuloplasty. The implant-borne fixed denture was inserted after this 2-stage treatment. All patients were followed for at least 12 months (average 18 months).


Eighteen implants were placed. The rebuilt peri-implant keratinized soft tissue was healthy clinically. The STSG graft had firm adherence to the underlying periosteum. The vestibule had adequate depth to maintain local hygiene. All implants were osseointegrated and all implant-borne prostheses were functioning well.


Submerged STSG technique combined with secondary vestibuloplasty may become a feasible and effective solution to rebuild keratinized soft tissue before dental implant restoration.

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