The purpose of this pilot study is to propose a technique, the split-finger approach, to preserve/promote papillae formation.
Twenty-one patients with 39 implants consecutively placed in the maxillary anterior region were evaluated at 6 months to 1 year after prosthodontic restoration. The implants evaluated included 16 single-tooth implants, 1 2-unit implant prosthesis, 2 4-unit tooth implants, 1 6-unit prostheses, and 1 7-unit restoration. The papillae were recorded as 0 = no papillae; 1 = ≤50% of the gingival embrasure height; 2 = >50% but <100% of embrasure height; 3 = 100% closure of the proximal space; and 4 = overgrowth of the interproximal tissue.
Data from this pilot study showed no class 0, class 1, or class 4 interproximal papillae after the final restoration. The 16 single-tooth restorations and 32 papillae had an average mesial papilla score of 3 and an average of 2.82 for the distal interproximal space. The average papilla score of the other implant papillae sites were 2.7 at 6 months to 1 year. A lower papilla score was noted in interimplant papillae.
The proposed split-finger technique could serve as a clinically useful alternate procedure to promote/augment papillae formation around dental implants.
*Adjunct Professor, Department of Periodontology/Prevention/Geriatrics, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and in private practice, Birmingham, Michigan.
†Assistant Professor, Department of Periodontology/Prevention/Geriatrics, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
‡Professor and Director of Graduate Periodontics, Periodontology/Prevention/Geriatrics, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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Carl E. Misch, DDS, MDS
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Birmingham, MI 48025
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Fax: (248) 642-3794