Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 36 (2016), No. 4 15. June 2016
This study evaluated volume stability after alveolar ridge contouring with free connective tissue grafts at implant placement in single-tooth gaps. A total of 52 single-tooth gaps with labial volume deficiencies in the maxilla (incisors, canines, and premolars) were consecutively treated with implants and concomitant free palatal connective tissue grafts in 46 patients between 2006 and 2009. Implants had to be covered with at least 2 mm peri-implant local bone after insertion. At implant placement, a free connective tissue graft from the palate was fixed inside a labial split-thickness flap to form an existing concave buccal alveolar ridge contour due to tissue volume deficiency into a convex shape. Standardized volumetric measurements of the labial alveolar contour using a template were evaluated before connective tissue grafting and at 2 weeks, 1 year, and 5 years after implantprosthetic incorporation. Tissue volume had increased significantly (P < .05) in all six reference points representing the outer alveolar soft tissue contour of the implant before connective tissue grafting to baseline (2 weeks after implant-prosthetic incorporation). Statistically, 50% of the reference points (P > .05) kept their volume from baseline to 1 year after prosthetic incorporation and from baseline to 5 years after prosthetic incorporation, respectively, whereas reference points located within the area of the implant sulcus showed a significant (P < .05) decrease in volume. Clinically, 5 years after prosthetic incorporation the originally concave buccal alveolar contour was still convex in all implants, leading to a continuous favorable anatomical shape and improved esthetic situation. Intraoral radiographs confirmed osseointegration and stable peri-implant parameters with a survival rate of 100% after a follow-up of approximately 5 years. Implant placement with concomitant free connective tissue grafting appears to be an appropriate long-term means to contour preexisting buccal alveolar volume deficiencies in single implants.