Inter-Implant Papilla Changes Following Anterior Immediate Tooth Replacement with Socket Shields: A 1- to 10-Year Retrospective Study
This retrospective study investigates the efficacy of the socket shield (SS) in preserving inter-implant papilla and bone in anterior adjacent implant sites. Clinical and radiographic records of 23 patients were evaluated. A total of 31 implants were placed immediately into extraction sockets with SS, resulting in 26 inter-implant sites, and 7 implants were placed without SS. After a mean follow-up of 41.5 months (range: 12 to 124 months), 30/31 (96.8%) implants with SS and 7/7 (100%) implants without SS were clinically successful. The mean changes in inter-implant papilla and bone heights were –0.40 mm and –0.46 mm, respectively. The effects of implant placement timing and the socket shield number, shape, and crestal level on interimplant tissue height changes were found to be insignificant (P > .05). Supracrestal shield level (31.6% vs 16.6% in equicrestal), U-shape shield (41.2% vs 7.1% in C-shape), and shield-to-implant contact (40.0% vs 12.5% in no contact) were associated with increased occurrence of exposures. The application of SS in adjacent anterior implant situations is a viable treatment option for maintaining inter-implant papilla.