The collapse of the alveolar ridge in an edentulous area in patients who will undergo oral rehabilitation impedes the harmonic relationship between pontic and ridge. To correct this type of defect there are several surgical techniques that aim to achieve soft tissue augmentation, allowing the conformation of an ideal profile with the use of a pontic.
The significance of soft tissue augmentation
Clinical evidence shows that soft tis- sue augmentations contribute to more than 40% of the final soft tissue volume at implant sites,4 result in superior esthetics, higher papilla scores and less mucosal recession. In addition, initial gingival tissue thickness at the crest might be considered import- ant for marginal bone stability around implants. Linkevicius et al. were indeed able to demonstrate that, if tissue thickness is 2 mm or less, crestal bone loss of up to 1.45 mm may occur, despite a supracrestal position of the implantabutment interface.
Soft tissue augmentation strategies
Periodontal or peri-implant plastic surgery procedures have been successfully performed to restore the shape and dimensions of soft and hard alveolar tissues before, during or after implant placement. These procedures include ridge augmentation with soft tissue, where autologous subepithelial connective tissue grafts are considered the gold standard.