The effect of mucosal cuff shrinkage around dental implants during healing abutment replacement

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Soft tissue shrinkage during the course of restoring dental implants may result in biological and prosthodontic difficulties. This study was conducted to measure the continuous shrinkage of the mucosal cuff around dental implants following the removal of the healing abutment up to 60 s. Individuals treated with implant-supported fixed partial dentures were included. Implant data - location, type, length, diameter and healing abutments' dimensions - were recorded. Mucosal cuff shrinkage, following removal of the healing abutments, was measured in bucco-lingual direction at four time points - immediately after 20, 40 and 60 s. anova was used to for statistical analysis. Eighty-seven patients (49 women and 38 men) with a total of 311 implants were evaluated (120 maxilla; 191 mandible; 291 posterior segments; 20 anterior segments). Two-hundred and five (66%) implants displayed thick and 106 (34%) thin gingival biotype. Time was the sole statistically significant parameter affecting mucosal cuff shrinkage around dental implants (P < 0·001). From time 0 to 20, 40 and 60 s, the mean diameter changed from 4·1 to 4·07, 3·4 and 2·81 mm, respectively. The shrinkage was 1%, 17% and 31%, respectively. The gingival biotype had no statistically significant influence on mucosal cuff shrinkage (P = 0·672). Time required replacing a healing abutment with a prosthetic element should be minimised (up to 20/40 s), to avoid pain, discomfort and misfit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-778
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Dental implants
  • Mucosal cuff
  • Shrinkage


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