Early wound healing and patient morbidity after single-incision vs. trap-door graft harvesting from the palate - a clinical study

Stefan Fickl, Kai R Fischer, Yvonne Jockel-Schneider, Christian F J Stappert, Ulrich Schlagenhauf, Moritz Kebschull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to compare wound healing and patient pain perception of single-incision (single-incision, modified single-incision) and trap-door surgical techniques to harvest subepithelial connective tissue grafts from the palate.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty-six patients were selected for root coverage procedures with subepithelial connective tissue grafts and randomly assigned to two single-incision groups or a trap-door group (n = 12/group). One week after surgery, a modified early-wound healing index (EHI), patient pain and painkiller intake were recorded. Follow-up was performed until complete epithelialization was achieved.

RESULTS: Single-incision techniques showed significantly improved early healing over trap-door approaches. Specifically, the mean EHI was 2.50 ± 1.14 for single-incision techniques, as compared to 3.33 ± 1.30 for trap door. The incidence of secondary healing was significantly lower in the single-incision groups. Concomitantly, the cumulative dosage and duration of painkiller intake were significantly reduced, as compared to the trap-door group.

CONCLUSION: Within the limits of this trial, single-incision techniques can lead to improved early healing and reduced patient pain after subepithelial connective tissue graft harvesting than trap-door techniques.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Avoiding trap-door incisions for harvesting of connective tissue grafts may reduce patient morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2213-9
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number9
Early online date23 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Adult
  • Analgesics/administration & dosage
  • Connective Tissue/transplantation
  • Female
  • Gingivoplasty/methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Palate/surgery
  • Random Allocation
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting/methods
  • Tooth Root/surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing/physiology
  • Connective tissue graft
  • Wound healing
  • Palate
  • Single incision
  • Trap door


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