Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 32 (2017), No. 6 21. Nov. 2017
Purpose: The aim of this short communication was to analyze time-dependent changes of the supraimplant mucosa architecture in the esthetic zone.
Materials and Methods: Five patients underwent single-tooth replacement with implant crowns in the anterior maxilla. The supraimplant soft tissue was conditioned with fixed provisional crowns. Quadrantlike digital impressions were taken with an intraoral optical scanning device at three time points: t0, immediately after removal of the provisional (baseline); t1, after 5 minutes; and t2, after 10 minutes. To analyze time-dependent mucosal changes, the corresponding digital files were superimposed for each patient, and baseline (t0) scans were compared with t1 and t2 scans, respectively. Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used for statistical calculations with a strict level of significance at P < .01.
Results: Mean values for supraimplant soft tissue changes were statistically significantly different after 5 minutes (5.5%; standard deviation ± 0.3%) in comparison to the results after 10 minutes (21.7%; standard deviation ± 1.8%). The direction of mucosa shrinkage showed a trend toward palatal sites.
Conclusion: Based on the findings of this analysis, changes in supraimplant mucosa architecture seem to be affected only slightly during the first 5 minutes after removal of soft tissue support.
Keywords: dental implant, intraoral optical scanning, soft tissue, supraimplant mucosa, superimposition