AIM: The scope of the discussions of this consensus report was to assess the strength of the scientific evidence and make clinical and research recommendations for surgical interventions to cover exposed root surfaces and enhance soft tissues at implants.
METHODS: Discussions were informed by three systematic reviews covering single recessions, multiple recessions and soft-tissue deficiencies at implants. The strength of the evidence was assessed using a modification in GRADE. The group also emphasized the need to report the experience of the surgeon and the performance of the control intervention (CONSORT guidelines for non-pharmacological treatment).
RESULTS: A moderate strength of evidence supported the following statements for single (moderately deep, mostly maxillary) recessions without inter-dental attachment loss: (i) The addition of a connective tissue graft (CTG) improved outcomes of coronally advanced flaps (CAF). (ii) The addition of enamel matrix derivative (EMD) improved the outcomes of CAF. For multiple recessions, preliminary data indicate that flaps specifically designed to treat this condition are worthy of additional attention. Emerging data indicate that it is possible to obtain complete root coverage at sites with some inter-dental attachment loss. With regards to soft-tissue deficiencies at implants, several procedures are available, but great heterogeneity among studies does not allow drawing conclusions at this time.
CONCLUSIONS: The group highlighted that periodontal plastic procedures are complex, technique-sensitive interventions that require advanced skills and expertise. At single recessions, the addition of autologous CTG or EMD under CAF improves complete root coverage and may be considered the procedure of choice at maxillary anterior and premolar teeth. The adjunctive benefit needs to be put in the context of increased morbidity of the donor area or increased cost. Additional research is needed to: (i) assess the role of alternatives to autologous soft-tissue grafting in combination with CAF; (ii) identify the optimal surgical design and the need for additional soft-tissue grafting (or alternatives) at multiple recessions, recessions with inter-dental attachment loss and soft-tissue deficiencies at implants.