Aim: To provide an overview on the biology and soft tissue wound healing around teeth and dental implants.
Material and methods: This narrative review focuses on cell biology and histology of soft tissue wounds around natural teeth and dental implants.
Results and conclusions: The available data indicate that: (a) Oral wounds follow a similar pattern. (b) The tissue specificities of the gingival, alveolar and palatal mucosa appear to be innately and not necessarily functionally determined. (c) The granulation tissue originating from the periodontal ligament or from connective tissue originally covered by keratinized epithelium has the potential to induce keratinization. However, it also appears that deep palatal connective tissue may not have the same potential to induce keratinization as the palatal connective tissue originating from an immediately subepithelial area. (d) Epithelial healing following non-surgical and surgical periodontal therapy appears to be completed after a period of 7–14 days. Structural integrity of a maturing wound between a denuded root surface and a soft tissue flap is achieved at approximately 14-days post-surgery. (e) The formation of the biological width and maturation of the barrier function around transmucosal implants requires 6–8 weeks of healing. (f) The established peri-implant soft connective tissue resembles a scar tissue in composition, fibre orientation, and vasculature. (g) The peri-implant junctional epithelium may reach a greater final length under certain conditions such as implants placed into fresh extraction sockets versus conventional implant procedures in healed sites.
Keywords: alveolar mucosa; dental implants; gingiva; non-surgical periodontal therapy; periodontal surgery; soft tissue grafting; wound healing.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.