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   Official Journal of The Academy of Osseointegration

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Volume 22 , Issue 1
January/February 2002

Pages 7177

Surgical Thickening of the Existing Gingiva and Reconstruction of Interdental Papillae Around Implant- Supported Restorations

Robert Azzi, DDS, Daniel Etienne, DDS, Henry Takei, DDS, Henry Takei, DDS

PMID: 11922221
DOI: 10.11607/prd.00.0447

With the present knowledge of osseointegration and implants, it seems reasonable to hope that implants will be placed in a way that provides optimal function, esthetics, and phonetics. The esthetic objectives of implant dentistry should be similar to those of conventional prosthodontics, and the esthetics for implants begins with implant placement. Often, because of limitations in position and/or quality of bone, implants may have to be placed in locations that are not ideal in the axial position. Preangulated and customized abutments have been used in some situations primarily to salvage poorly placed implants. An adequate zone of attached gingiva is also necessary around these restorations to hide the periimplant restoration boundary and provide for a good soft tissue profile, which is the essence of esthetics. There are numerous situations where implants have been placed in areas of minimal keratinized gingiva. The crown margin around these areas of thin gingiva is usually supragingival; therefore, the esthetic appearance is poor. Three case reports, which are part of a preliminary study, outline a plastic surgical technique of tunneling/pouching and the use of submerged connective tissue grafts. This technique allows the thickening of the existing gingiva but is also useful for reconstructing interdental papillae around implant-supported restorations. (Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2002;22:7177.)

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