AIM: To provide a narrative review of the current literature elaborating on fundamental principles of periodontal plastic surgical procedures.
METHODS: Based on a presumptive outline of the narrative review, MESH terms have been used to search the relevant literature electronically in the PubMed and Cochrane Collaboration databases. If possible, systematic reviews were included. The review is divided into three phases associated with periodontal plastic surgery: a) pre-operative phase, b) surgical procedures and c) post-surgical care. The surgical procedures were discussed in the light of a) flap design and preparation, b) flap mobilization and c) flap adaptation and stabilization.
RESULTS: Pre-operative paradigms include the optimal plaque control and smoking counselling. Fundamental principles in surgical procedures address basic knowledge in anatomy and vascularity, leading to novel appropriate flap designs with papilla preservation. Flap mobilization based on releasing incisions can be performed up to 5 mm. Flap adaptation and stabilization depend on appropriate wound bed characteristics, undisturbed blood clot formation, revascularization and wound stability through adequate suturing.
CONCLUSION: Delicate tissue handling and tension free wound closure represent prerequisites for optimal healing outcomes.