Duration: 38 minutes, 11 seconds

Author: Dr. George Perri

AZ in Restorative Implant Dentistry Part 6b: Prosthodontic Management of Soft Tissue Defects


Soft tissue defects can pose challenges in implant placement and may require careful management. This article discusses the various methods and techniques involved in prosthodontic management of soft tissue defects in restorative implant dentistry.

1. Understanding Soft Tissue Defects

Soft tissue defects refer to the loss or damage of the gum tissue surrounding dental implants. These defects can result from trauma, disease, or previous dental treatments. It is essential to assess the extent and severity of the defect to determine the appropriate management approach.

a) Small Defects and Tooth-Colored Porcelain

For small defects, tooth-colored porcelain on the implant restoration can be used to effectively manage and mask the defect. This involves creating a customized crown or bridge that matches the color and contour of the surrounding natural teeth, creating a seamless appearance.

b) Creating the Illusion of Proper Implant Placement

In cases where multiple units are affected by soft tissue defects, it may be necessary to splint them together. By splinting the implants, the prosthodontist can create the illusion of proper implant placement, improving the overall aesthetics and functionality of the restoration.

2. Effects on Adjacent Teeth

Implant placement can sometimes cause tissue retraction, affecting the appearance and health of adjacent teeth. It is crucial to evaluate the need for restoration on these teeth to maintain a harmonious and natural-looking smile. Restoring adjacent teeth may involve various treatments, such as crowns or veneers, to achieve the desired outcome.

3. Removable Overlay Partial Denture

In cases where the soft tissue defect is extensive, a removable overlay partial denture can be a viable option. This denture serves to obturate the space left by the defect, providing support and stability to the oral structures. The prosthodontist will work closely with the patient to ensure the best possible outcome in terms of aesthetics and functionality.


Soft tissue defects in restorative implant dentistry present unique challenges that require careful prosthodontic management. Understanding the various techniques and approaches outlined in this article is crucial for achieving optimal results in terms of aesthetics, function, and patient satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can soft tissue defects be managed without implant placement?

A1: Soft tissue defects can sometimes be managed using alternative treatments, such as bridgework or removable dentures. However, the long-term success and stability of these options may vary.

Q2: How long does the prosthodontic management of soft tissue defects take?

A2: The duration of prosthodontic management for soft tissue defects depends on the complexity of the case and the treatment plan agreed upon. It is essential to consult with your prosthodontist to get an accurate estimate.

Q3: Will prosthodontic management of soft tissue defects affect my speech?

A3: The prosthodontist will ensure that the prosthesis is properly designed and fitted to minimize speech disturbances. With time, most patients adjust and adapt to the new restoration without significant speech impairment.

Q4: How do I care for a removable overlay partial denture?

A4: Proper oral hygiene and regular cleaning of the denture are essential. Your prosthodontist will provide specific instructions on cleaning and maintenance to ensure its longevity and function.

Q5: Is prosthodontic management of soft tissue defects covered by insurance?

A5: Coverage varies by insurance plans. It is recommended to contact your insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage for prosthodontic procedures related to soft tissue defects.

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