Coverage of previously carious roots is as predictable a procedure as coverage of intacts roots

M. Goldstein, E. Nasatzky, J. Goultschin, B. D. Boyan, Z. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Coverage of roots exposed by gingival recession is one of the main objectives of periodontal reconstructive surgery. A variety of highly predictable and esthetically acceptable mucogingival grafting procedures are available for treating intact root surfaces. One of the indications for root coverage procedures is prevention of root caries. However, little is known about the ability to treat previously carious roots by mucogingival grafting, and even less is known about the outcome of such treatment. Methods: Sixty patients with gingival recession were treated with subepithelial connective tissue grafts. During initial examination, 33 intact teeth with longstanding gingival recessions of 4.09 ± 0.16 mm (mean ± SEM) and 27 teeth with carious roots (restored and unrestored) and longstanding gingival recessions of 3.44 ± 0.22 mm (mean ± SEM) were found. Prior to grafting, any carious dentin and plastic restorations were removed. The exposed roots were thoroughly planed and covered by a subepithelial connective tissue graft without any further root treatment or conditioning. Patients were evaluated periodically between 1 and 6 years. Residual recession, defect coverage, and caries incidence were assessed. Results: Recession was reduced to a similar extent on all teeth whether root caries was present (0.31 ± 0.11 mm) or not (0.15 ± 0.04 mm). This resulted in comparable defect coverages of 92.41 ± 2.38% for previously carious roots and 97.46 ± 0.79% for intact roots. In 44 cases, complete coverage of the recession was achieved. The results were stable, and no further recessions or recurrent caries were found during the periodic evaluations. Conclusions: These results indicate that coverage of previously carious roots with subepithelial connective tissue grafts is a very predictable procedure with results similar to those found on intact roots. This procedure may provide a definitive biological alternative for conventional restorative treatment modalities for root caries. Moreover, the results are more esthetic, biologically acceptable, and maintainable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1419-1426
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Dental caries/prevention and control
  • Gingival recession/surgery
  • Gingival recession/therapy
  • Grafts, gingival
  • Outcome assessment
  • Tooth root

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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