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Interim implant-supported restorations play an important role in achieving the desired esthetic outcome and long-term success of implant prostheses.1-2 The initial interim restoration is made from a conventional implantlevel impression, which is then modified to sculpt the gingival contour. Additional material is added to mold the papillae and gingival margins and recreate the natural gingival architecture. An appropriate impression technique is essential for an accurate transfer of the periimplant emergence profile to the definitive cast.3-4
Two different techniques have been described to transfer the emergence profile from the patient’s mouth to the definitive cast. The indirect technique5-9 uses a custom impression coping to copy the peri-implant emergence profile. A standard impression coping is modified by filling the space with autopolymerizing or light-polymerizing resin between the impression coping and the submarginal emergence profile as outlined by a silicone matrix. This technique can transfer the emergence profile from the patient’s mouth to the definitive cast with high precision. However, the technique is time consuming and only suitable for a single implant. For multiple implant restorations with pontic site development, this technique is complex, as the subgingival emergence profile of several implant abutments and the pontic area need to be replicated. The custom impression copings must be splinted to accurately transfer the position of the implants. A disadvantage of the indirect technique is that the peri-implant soft tissue will collapse
Figure 1. Soft tissue working cast made from original implant impression using splinted impression copings. Gingival contours represent shape of healing.
Figure 2. Interim restoration as fabricated by dental laboratory technicianabutments.
Figure 3. Interim restoration as modified by treating dentist for ideal emergence profile and ovate pontic contour.
Figure 4. Tissue condition after 6-week maturation period.
Figure 5. Vacuum-formed clear matrix with hole placed for injection of silicone-based gingival mask.
Figure 6. Interim restoration removed. Note tissue sculpted to desired architecture.
Figure 7. Interim restoration fastened to original definitive cast.
Figure 8. Vacuum-formed clear matrix placed on original definitive cast with interim restoration attached.
during the fabrication of the indirect custom impression copings. When the interim restoration is delivered, the
patient will feel discomfort as the tissue is displaced.
Schoenbaum and Han10 described an efficient and accurate direct custom implant impression coping technique to transfer the emergence profile of an implant abutment and pontic site to the definitive cast. However, this technique is limited to restorations supported by 2 implants. A concern has been expressed that the heat generated by the flowable composite resin and its toxicity may damage the gingival tissue.11 The injectable silicone-based gingival mask technique was developed to transfer the peri-implant emergence profile and the gingival margin of the interim restoration to the definitive cast.12
Figure 9. Silicone-based gingival mask material injected into space between definitive cast, clear vacuum-formed matrix, and interim restoration.
Figure 10. Original definitive cast modified with gingival mask.
Figure 11. Gingival maskecapturing emergence profile of abutments and contour of pontic sites, eliminating need for second impression.
The injectable gingival mask material can transfer the emergence profile of implant abutments and the pontic site to the definitive cast both accurately and precisely. It is a straightforward technique that saves chairside time and does not require an additional impression. The clinician can modify the emergence profile and mold the papillae to optimize the access for hygiene and esthetics; this is then accurately transferred to the definitive cast. This technique can be used in different clinical situations, including different implant angulations.