Split Palatal Flap. I. A Surgical Approach for Primary Soft Tissue Healing in Ridge Augmentation Procedures: Technique and Clinical Results
Carlos E. Nemcovsky, DMD/Zvi Artzi, DMD
This article describes a surgical procedure to predictably obtain primary closure over extraction sockets in the maxilla. The technique offers a valuable treatment approach for the achievement of primary soft tissue closure over bone grafts and/or occlusive osteopromotive membranes, although the use of an osteopromotive membrane may not always be necessary in cases of single-tooth extraction. The surgical technique is based on a split-thickness palatal flap in which the pediculated deep portion is rotated to cover the grafted alveolus or membrane. This procedure was used in a total of 40 sites in 32 consecutive patients; a barrier membrane was used in 20 sites. All treated sites allowed proper implant placement after healing. Two membranes became prematurely exposed and one was removed before implant surgery. Proper soft and hard tissue anatomy was predictably obtained prior to implant placement. This surgical procedure is useful in preserving and/or augmenting the alveolar ridge prior to or during implant placement in cases of advanced alveolar bone loss.