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Volume 23 , Issue 1
January/February 2003

Pages 1927

Predictability of Soft Tissue Form Around Single-Tooth Implant Restorations

George Priest, DMD

PMID: 12617365
DOI: 10.11607/prd.00.0508

The objective of this study was to answer important questions about gingival responses to single-tooth implants: (1) Are papilla regeneration and sulcular recession expected results? (2) Do soft tissue profiles retain their sulcular form over an extended period? and (3) Do single-implant replacements require special restorative handling to achieve predictable soft tissue form? A retrospective, photographic examination was used to follow 55 single-implant restorations in 51 patients for a period from 1 to 9 years (mean 3.5 years). Papillae regenerated in 83.9% of implants for a mean growth of 0.65 mm mesially and 0.62 mm distally. The sulcular apex receded in 59% of patients for a mean of 0.06 mm. Complete papilla fill was noted in 75% of patients examined. Short- to long-term measurements revealed that papilla regrowth continued slightly and that sulcular recession abated. Papilla regeneration around single implants was a predictable outcome in this population; sulcular recession was not a predictable finding. Papilla levels demonstrated a tendency toward increasing height, and sulcular levels remained fairly constant over the long term. Predictable soft tissue profiles were achieved with a simplified implant prosthetic protocol, progressing directly from healing abutments to definitive crowns in most cases. (Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2003;23:1927.)

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