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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

June 2009
Volume 40 , Issue 6

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Does harvesting connective tissue grafts from the palate cause persistent sensory dysfunction? A pilot study

Linda R. Buff, DMD, Dr Med Dent/Thomas Bürklin, DMD, Dr Med Dent/ Peter Eickholz, DMD, Prof Dr Med Dent/Jürgen Schulte Mönting, Prof Dr/Petra Ratka-Krüger, DMD, Prof Dr Med Dent

Pages: 479–489
PMID: 19587889

Objective: The use of connective tissue grafts is a proven, effective treatment modality. This study examines whether harvesting connective tissue grafts from the palate causes persistent sensory dysfunction. Methods and Materials: Fourteen patients who had received at least 1 graft were included. Neurosensory tests at the palate performed postoperatively included minimal 2-point discrimination, soft-touch discrimination, pin-tactile discrimination, and thermal discrimination. Measurements were taken at 3 sites each: 5, 10, and 15 mm from the palatal tissue margin at canines, premolars, and first molars. Results: Eight patients had 1 graft, and 6 patients had 2 grafts harvested from their palate. Twelve patients had never noticed any dysfunction. Two patients reported a persistent numbness or a rough palatal surface. Statistically significant differences between donor sites and nondonor sites were shown by 2-point discrimination 5 mm from the margin of canines (6.57 mm ± 3.79 mm at donor sites and 4.71 mm ± 4.14 mm at nondonor sites, P = .01). Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed statistically significant differences between donor sites and nondonor sites for measurements taken 5 and 10 mm from the margin of all included teeth (P = .02). Conclusions: Some sensory changes can occur after graft harvesting from the palate. (Quintessence Int 2009;40:479–489)

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