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Duration: 57 minutes, 5 seconds

Author: Dr. Paul Lin

Predictable Soft Tissue Grafting for Esthetics in Thin Periodontium


In this article, we will discuss the concept of predictable soft tissue grafting for esthetics in thin periodontium. The speaker is discussing the challenges faced in achieving predictable results in such cases and explores potential solutions.

Predictability in Clinical Cases

Whilst the speaker acknowledges that predictability in clinical cases is not always 100%, they highlight that a success rate of 75-80% can be achieved. This is an encouraging statistic for practitioners treating patients with thin periodontium.

The Challenges of Thin Periodontium

Thin periodontium presents unique challenges due to the higher likelihood of thinner gingiva, alveolar bone issues, and taller papilla. These factors can make achieving satisfactory esthetic outcomes more complex.

Thinner Gingiva

The first challenge in thin periodontium is the presence of thinner gingiva. This can make it difficult to achieve proper soft tissue contouring and harmonious aesthetics around natural teeth or dental implants.

Alveolar Bone Issues

Another aspect to consider is the potential alveolar bone issues that may arise. In thin periodontium, the alveolar bone is often compromised, resulting in limited support for the overlying soft tissues. This can contribute to tissue thinning and decreased overall esthetic appearance.

Taller Papilla

Thin periodontium is also associated with taller papilla. This can pose challenges in achieving ideal interdental papilla height and volume in the esthetic zone.

Case Study: Successful Regeneration Followed by Soft Tissue Grafting

A case treated in 1998 serves as an example of the challenges faced in thin periodontium. Initially, successful regeneration was achieved, but over time the patient experienced tissue thinning, which necessitated soft tissue grafting to maintain esthetic appearance.

Case Study: Tissue Recession Following Implant Placement

In yet another case, a patient with thin periodontium underwent implant placement. However, over time, tissue recession occurred, leading to compromised esthetics. This example emphasizes the importance of addressing the unique challenges posed by thin periodontium to achieve long-lasting esthetic outcomes.

Predictable Soft Tissue Grafting Solutions

Fortunately, there are solutions available to enhance the predictability of soft tissue grafting in cases of thin periodontium. These solutions aim to address the challenges discussed above and improve overall esthetic results.

Tissue augmentation techniques

Tissue augmentation techniques, such as connective tissue grafts, can be employed to augment thin gingiva and achieve proper soft tissue contouring. These grafts help in achieving a thicker and more natural-looking gingival tissue.

Guided bone regeneration

Guided bone regeneration can be utilized to address alveolar bone issues in thin periodontium. This technique promotes bone growth and stability, providing a solid foundation for the overlying soft tissues.

Papilla reconstruction

Papilla reconstruction techniques can be used to address taller papilla in thin periodontium. These techniques aim to restore ideal interdental papilla height and volume, improving overall esthetic appearance.


Predictable soft tissue grafting for esthetics in thin periodontium is attainable, with a success rate of 75-80% achievable. Although challenges exist, such as thinner gingiva, alveolar bone issues, and taller papilla, various techniques exist to overcome them. Tissue augmentation, guided bone regeneration, and papilla reconstruction can significantly improve esthetic outcomes in these cases.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long does it take to see the results of soft tissue grafting in thin periodontium?

The results of soft tissue grafting in thin periodontium can be observed within a few weeks to a few months, depending on the individual case and the specific technique used.

2. Is soft tissue grafting a painful procedure?

Soft tissue grafting is typically performed under local anesthesia, minimizing any discomfort during the procedure. The level of post-operative pain varies from person to person, but it is generally manageable with over-the-counter pain medications.

3. Can soft tissue grafting be performed in conjunction with dental implant placement?

Yes, soft tissue grafting can be performed simultaneously with dental implant placement. This approach allows for the establishment of proper esthetic harmony between the implant and surrounding soft tissues.

4. Are there any risks or complications associated with soft tissue grafting?

As with any surgical procedure, soft tissue grafting carries some risks and potential complications. These may include infection, bleeding, graft failure, and allergic reactions. However, with proper planning and technique, the risks can be minimized.

5. How long do the results of soft tissue grafting last in thin periodontium?

The longevity of results varies depending on several factors, including the patient’s oral hygiene practices, occlusal forces, and overall oral health. With proper maintenance and follow-up care, the results of soft tissue grafting can last for many years.

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