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Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2015 Oct;17(5):983-95. doi: 10.1111/cid.12194. Epub 2013 Dec 27.

Clinical and Aesthetic Outcome with Post-Extractive Implants with or without Soft Tissue Augmentation: A 2-Year Randomized Clinical Trial.

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Orthodontics Department, Genoa University, Genova, Italy.
Oral Surgery Departments, Gallarate, Milan, Italy.
Department of Health Sciences, Section of Biostatistics, Genoa University, Genova, Italy.
Orthodontics Department, School of Dentistry, Genoa University, Genova, Italy.
School of Dentistry, Genoa University, Genova, Italy.



The aesthetic outcome of an implant-supported restoration is first of all dependent on the soft tissue volume. Because the labial bone plate resorbs in every direction after tooth extraction, even when an implant is placed immediately, most patients end up with compromised aesthetics.


In this parallel-designed, randomized clinical trial, participants were randomly assigned to the test group (immediate load post-extractive implant treated with subepithelial connective tissue graft placed using the tunnel technique in the labial area) and control group (immediate load post-extractive implant treated without raising a flap) with an allocation ratio of 1:1. Both groups received deproteinized bovine bone mineral. Patients were observed at baseline, crown insertion, 1-year follow-up, and 2-year follow-up. Clinical, radiological and aesthetic parameters were recorded to assess primary treatment outcomes. A random permuted block system was blindly generated ensuring uniformity of the patient allocation during the trial by randomly distributing three participants to the test and three participants to the control group every six treated patients.


At the 2-year examination, all 47 implants were successfully integrated, demonstrating stability and healthy peri-implant soft tissues as documented by standard clinical parameters. The results showed a soft tissue remodeling of -10% in thickness and -18% in highness in the non-grafted group, whereas in the grafted group there was a gain of 35% in thickness and a slight reduction of -11% in highness. Test group reported an increase of aesthetic result (mean pink aesthetic score [PES] 8) compared with control group (mean PES 6.65).


This prospective study demonstrates the effectiveness of placing a soft tissue graft at the time of immediate implant placement in the aesthetic zone. At the 2-year follow-up, test group revealed a better aesthetic outcomes and stable facial soft tissues compared with control group.


extraction socket; flapless implant surgery; randomized controlled trial; single-tooth implants; soft tissue grafting

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