Laterally moved, coronally advanced flap: A modified surgical approach for isolated recession-type defects

Giovanni Zucchelli, C. Cesari, C. Amore, L. Montebugnoli, M. De Sanctis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Various modifications of the laterally sliding flap have been proposed to reduce the risk of gingival recession at the donor tooth site, but the reported root coverage predictability was quite low. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness with respect to root coverage of a modified surgical approach of the laterally moved flap procedure for the treatment of an isolated type of recession defect. Methods: One hundred and twenty (120) isolated gingival recessions (Miller Class I or II) with specific features of the keratinized tissue lateral to the defects were treated with a new approach to the laterally moved flap. The main surgical modifications consisted of the coronal advancement of the laterally moved flap and the different thickness during flap elevation. Clinical evaluation was made 1 year after the surgery. Results: At the 1-year examination, 97% of the root surface was covered with soft tissue and 96 defects (80%) showed complete root coverage. A statistical and clinically significant increase of keratinized tissue was observed. These favorable results were accomplished with no change in the position of gingival margin or in the height of gingival tissue at the donor tooth/site. Conclusions: The laterally moved, coronally advanced surgical technique was very effective in treating isolated gingival recessions. It combined the esthetic and root coverage advantages of the coronally advanced flap with the increase in gingival thickness and keratinized tissue associated with the laterally moved flap. The ideal gingival conditions must be present lateral to an isolated recession defect in order to render the proposed surgical technique an highly effective and predictable root coverage surgical procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1734-1741
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Dental esthetics
  • Gingival recession/surgery
  • Keratin/physiology
  • Surgical flaps
  • Tooth root

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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