We evaluated the effect of periosteal-releasing incisions on flap displacement in anterior maxillary sites following implant placement and simultaneously guided bone regeneration. Thirty patients requiring a single dental implant and guided bone regeneration in the maxillary esthetic zone were recruited. After full-thickness flap elevation, the displacement of the flap was measured under a standardized tension of 1 Ncm. Then, a two-step periosteal releasing incision was placed in the internal aspect of the flap, and the displacement was remeasured using the same standardized tension. Keratinized tissue width and mucosal thickness at the surgical site were recorded. Patient-reported outcomes were assessed at the 7- and 14-day recall visits. Flap displacement (primary outcome) was calculated before and after periosteal-releasing incisions. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate the influence of mucosal thickness on flap displacement and adjusted for Keratinized tissue width. Primary wound closure was achieved in all patients. The mean difference in flap coronal displacement before and after the periosteal-releasing incisions was 8.2 mm (p<0.0001). Adjusted regression models showed no association between mucosal thickness and keratinized tissue width with the amount of flap displacement (p=0.770). PROMs for pain, swelling, and bleeding amounted to 1.28 ± 1.93, 1.36 ± 1.87, and 0.0 ± 0.0 at seven days and 0.11 ± 0.57, 0.56 ± 1.03, and 0.0 ± 0.0 at 14 days, respectively. Periosteal-releasing incisions using the two-step procedure described here are a predictable technique to obtain coronal flap displacements > 8 mm without increased surgical complications.

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