To evaluate clinical and radiographic outcomes following free gingival grafts (FGGs) around implants with limited keratinized mucosa (KM) during 18 months follow-up compared to oral prophylaxis without augmentation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This prospective controlled randomized blind clinical study investigated 41 implants displaying lack of KM in 28 subjects. After baseline examination, 14 subjects in the experimental group received FGGs followed by oral prophylaxis and 14 subjects in the control group received oral prophylaxis only. The width of KM, the level of mucosal margin, pocket depths, plaque index, and gingival index (GI) were assessed at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months. Changes in crestal bone levels, from baseline, were assessed at 18 months.
There was a significant gain in KM in the FGG group compared to controls at 6, 12, 18 months. The mean GI was significantly lower for the FGG group at all follow-ups. Crestal bone loss in the FGG group was significantly less than the control group (mesial: p = 0.0005, distal: p = 0.042) at 18 months.
Free gingival graft for implants exhibiting lack of KM is a viable treatment option to reduce mucosal inflammation and to maintain crestal bone level in the short term.