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6.2 Soft tissue augmentation

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Learning objectives

Once you have completed this e.tutorial, you will know more about:

  • harvesting and potential applications of free and pedicled soft tissue grafts,
  • options and techniques for soft tissue augmentation,
  • development and potential applications of healing caps and prosthetic abutments,
  • techniques and indications pertaining to exposure surgery.

Abstract

Free and pedicle grafts, preferably from the soft palate, afford diverse possibilities for soft tissue augmentation and improvement of gingival aesthetics. Sufficiently thick soft tissue protects peri-implant bone. Use of soft tissue grafts for sealing alveolar bone and provides a minimally invasive approaches for immediate implant placement. Soft tissue pedicle grafts are used for primary coverage and extensive alveolar ridge augmentation. Nowadays, the materials of choice for healing caps, gingiva formers, and abutments include titanium and/or zirconium oxide. Individual shaping and surface structuring procedures favor soft tissue attachment. Exposure techniques allow thickening and conditioning of peri-implant mucosa, as well as widening of the keratinized mucosa. Pedicle and/or free grafts enable reconstruction of papillae between implants. In this tutorial, the reader is educated on the current status of soft tissue grafting, prosthetic abutments, and exposure techniques.

Authors

G. Iglhaut, M. Schlee, K.L. Ackermann, A. Sculean

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