Purpose: There is no consensus regarding the relationship between the width of keratinized mucosa and the health of periimplant tissues, but clinicians prefer to provide enough keratinized mucosa around dental implants for long-term implant maintenance. An apically positioned flap during second stage implant surgery is the chosen method of widening the keratinized zone in simple procedures. However, the routine suture techniques used with this method tend to apply tension over the provisional abutments and decrease pre-existing keratinized mucosa. To overcome this shortcoming, a pre-fabricated implant-retained stent was designed to apply vertical pressure on the labial flap and stabilize it in a bucco-apical direction to create a wide keratinized mucous zone. Methods: During second stage implant surgery, an apically displaced, partial thickness flap with a lingualized incision was retracted. A pre-fabricated stent was clipped over the abutments after connecting to the provisional abutment. Vertical pressure was applied to displace the labial flap. No suture was required and the stent was removed after 10 days. Results: A clinically relevant amount of keratinized mucosa was achieved around the dental implants. Buccally displaced keratinized mucosa was firmly attached to the underlying periosteum. A slight shrinkage of the keratinized zone was noted after the healing period in one patient, but no discomfort during oral hygiene was reported. Clinically healthy gingiva with enough keratinized mucosa was achieved in both patients. Conclusions: The proposed technique is a simple and time-effective technique for preserving and providing keratinized tissue around dental implants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery