A Decision Tree for Soft Tissue Grafting
Periodontal plastic surgery is commonly performed for esthetic and physiologic reasons, such as alleviating root sensitivity, root caries, and cervical abrasion and facilitating plaque control at the affected site. Currently, there is a lack of information regarding the most appropriate treatment method for the various clinical situations encountered. The aims of this paper are to review and discuss the various clinical situations that require soft tissue grafting and to attempt to provide recommendations for the most predictable technique. Using MEDLINE and The Cochrane Library, a review of all available literature was performed. Papers published in peer-reviewed journals written in English were chosen and reviewed to validate the decision-making process when planning for soft tissue grafting. A decision tree was subsequently developed to guide clinicians to choose the most appropriate soft tissue grafting procedure by taking into consideration the following clinical parameters: etiology, purpose of the procedure, adjacent interproximal bone level, and overlying tissue thickness. The decision tree proposed serves as a guide for clinicians to select the most appropriate and predictable soft tissue grafting procedure to minimize unnecessary mistakes while providing the ultimate desired treatment outcome.