Modified Pedicle Grafting: A Novel Noninvasive Technique for Soft Tissue Augmentation Around Maxillary Dental Implants
AbstractObjectives: This study sought to assess the efficacy of modified pedicle grafting as a noninvasive technique for soft tissue augmentation around maxillary dental implants.Materials and Methods: This descriptive study was conducted on eight patients who met the inclusion criteria. Prior to the second-stage surgery for exposing the implants, the buccal keratinized mucosa width, vestibular depth, and mucosal thickness around the implants were measured. The same parameters were measured six months after the second-stage surgery and were compared with the baseline values. Also, the color match of the graft with the adjacent gingival and mucosal tissues was evaluated.Results: Forty-seven maxillary implants were evaluated. The minimum and maximum gains of keratinized mucosal width were respectively equal to 0mm and 7mm, with a mean of 4.31±1.19mm. The mean vestibular depth around the implants was 9.47±1.75mm (ranging from 5mm to 12mm) six months after the surgery. At the beginning of the study, a thin mucosa surrounded the implants, but after six months, the peri-implant keratinized mucosa width increased. The color match of the graft with the adjacent gingival and mucosal tissues was excellent based on the periodontists' opinion.Conclusions: Modified pedicle grafting is a safe and predictable technique for soft tissue augmentation around maxillary implants. This technique is reliable for increasing the width of keratinized mucosa in fully and partially edentulous patients with a shallow vestibular depth. The stability of the pedicle flap is achieved by fixing the flap to the tissue around the healing abutment.
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