Background: This longitudinal clinical study aimed to determine the amount of creeping attachment and its relation to baseline recession depth after placement of free gingival grafts (FGG) apical to class I, II, and III Miller’s recession defects. Materials and methods: Twenty subjects with Miller class I, II, and III gingival recession defects requiring FGG were recruited into this longitudinal clinical study. Site-specific clinical parameters (pocket depth, depth and width of gingival recession and width of keratinized gingiva apical to the recession) were recorded at baseline, 3 month and 6 month time points using a digital caliper. All subjects received motivation, oral hygiene instruction, full mouth scaling, and root surface debridement. FGG were placed using standard protocols for all subjects. Pearson correlation was used to determine the correlation between the amount of recession reduction at the six-month and baseline clinical parameters. Results: Sixteen subjects completed the six-month follow-up. FGG resulted in significant improvements in all clinical parameters except pocket depth. Recession depth showed a significant reduction from 3.14±1.16mm at baseline to 1.87±0.92mm at the six-month time point (P= 0.001) and the amount of creeping attachment significantly correlated to the depth of recession at baseline (r= 0.66, P=0.01). Conclusions: FGG placed apical to recession areas resulted in a significant decrease of recession depth by creeping attachment. The amount of creeping attachment was associated with baseline recession depth.
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