The Simplified Papilla Preservation Flap. A Novel Surgical Approach for the Management of Soft Tissues in Regenerative Procedures
Pierpaolo Cortellini, MD, DMD/Giovanpaolo Pini Prato, MD, DMD/Maurizio S. Tonetti, DMD, PhD, Msc
A novel surgical procedure specifically designed to access interdental spaces in the regenerative treatment of deep intrabony defects is presented. This procedure (simplified papilla preservation flap, SPPF) was designed to provide surgical access to interproximal bony defects while preserving interdental soft tissues, even in narrow interdental spaces and posterior teeth. A modified mattress suture allows coronal positioning of the buccal flap and primary closure of the interdental space without tension. The modified mattress suture minimizes the collapse of the membrane into the defect. An experimental population of 18 patients in good general health who presented with one intrabony defect each was selected for this clinical study. The application of the SPPF in combination with bioresorbable membranes resulted in clinical attachment level (CAL) gains of 4.9 ± 1.8 mm at 1 year. The difference between baseline CAL and 1 year CAL was highly clinically and statistically significant. The residual pockets at 1 year measured 3.6 ± 1.2 mm. A slight increase in gingival recession was noted. Primary closure of the flap in the interdental space over the membrane was obtained in 100% of the cases after completion of surgery and maintained in 67% of the cases during the healing period. The application of SPPF in combination with bioresorbable barrier membranes allowed primary closure of the interdental space in most of the treated sites and resulted in consistent CAL gains at 1 year.