This randomized clinical trial assessed the effect of three different prosthetic abutments (titanium, gold-hue titanium and zirconia) on peri-implant soft tissue 2 years after treatment in partially edentulous subjects.
Baseline data concerning (1) thickness of the buccal peri-implant soft tissue, (2) soft tissue thickness above the bone crest, (3) depth/length of transmucosal pathway, and (4) periodontal biotype at adjacent teeth were collected. The final sample consisted of 47 subjects (21 males, 26 females) with a total of 97 implants. A two-level (patient, implant) statistical model was applied.
At the 2-year clinical observation, recession of the gingival margin was observed only at 13% of implants irrespective of the type of abutment. No significant correlation between periodontal biotype at adjacent teeth and peri-implant biotype was observed. Furthermore, none of the investigated variables at patient level (age, gender, implant type, periodontal biotype) or at implant level (keratinized tissue thickness, probing depth, soft tissue thickness) was identified as a significant predictor of recession. In conclusion, this study pointed out that (1) abutment type was not able to influence peri-implant variables after 2 years, and (2) caution should be used in considering periodontal biotype at patient level as a possible indicator of the future peri-implant biotype.