Soft tissue augmentation around osseointegrated and uncovered dental implants: a systematic review

Renzo G Bassetti, Alexandra Stähli, Mario A Bassetti, Anton Sculean
Clinical Oral Investigations 2017, 21 (1): 53-70

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to compile the current knowledge about the efficacy of different soft tissue correction methods around osseointegrated, already uncovered and/or loaded (OU/L) implants with insufficient soft tissue conditions. Procedures to increase peri-implant keratinized mucosa (KM) width and/or soft tissue volume were considered.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Screening of two databases: MEDLINE (PubMed) and EMBASE (OVID), and manual search of articles were performed. Human studies reporting on soft tissue augmentation/correction methods around OU/L implants up to June 30, 2016, were considered. Quality assessment of selected full-text articles to weight risk of bias was performed using the Cochrane collaboration's tool.

RESULTS: Overall, four randomized controlled trials (risk of bias = high/low) and five prospective studies (risk of bias = high) were included. Depending on the surgical techniques and graft materials, the enlargement of keratinized tissue (KT) ranged between 1.15 ± 0.81 and 2.57 ± 0.50 mm. The apically positioned partial thickness flap (APPTF), in combination with a free gingival graft (FGG), a subepithelial connective tissue graft (SCTG), or a xenogeneic graft material (XCM) were most effective. A coronally advanced flap (CAF) combined with SCTG in three, combined with allogenic graft materials (AMDA) in one, and a split thickness flap (STF) combined with SCTG in another study showed mean soft tissue recession coverage rates from 28 to 96.3 %. STF combined with XCM failed to improve peri-implant soft tissue coverage.

CONCLUSIONS: The three APPTF-techniques combined with FGG, SCTG, or XCM achieved comparable enlargements of peri-implant KT. Further, both STF and CAF, both in combination with SCTG, are equivalent regarding recession coverage rates. STF + XCM and CAF + AMDA did not reach significant coverage.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: In case of soft tissue deficiency around OU/L dental implants, the selection of both an appropriate surgical technique and a suitable soft tissue graft material is of utmost clinical relevance.

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