Ideal Gingival Retraction for Thin Biotype

Achieving precise and accurate scans is crucial for successful restorations. One critical factor that influences the quality of these scans is gingival retraction, which depends on the patient’s gingival biotype, sulcus depth, and specific needs. This blog post delves into the challenges and solutions for gingival retraction in thin biotypes, featuring insights from Dr. Mohamed El Ashry’s last webinar.


Understanding Thin Biotype Gingival Tissue

Gingival Retraction for Thin Biotypes

Thin biotype gingival tissue is particularly delicate and prone to collapse over the margins, making effective retraction a challenge. This is especially true in areas such as the mandibular anterior zone, mandibular premolar zone, and the maxillary canine zone, where the gingiva is often thin, particularly on the buccal side.


Challenges with Traditional Retraction Methods

When dealing with thin biotype gingiva, traditional retraction methods such as using a single cord or even a double cord technique can be insufficient. These methods might exert excessive pressure, leading to trauma, gingival height loss, and potential recession. Therefore, a more nuanced approach is required to achieve optimal retraction without damaging the delicate tissue.


Effective Techniques for Thin Biotype Gingival Retraction

Combining Retraction Cord and Retraction Paste

1. Single Retraction Cord:

  • Begin with placing a single retraction cord to initiate tissue displacement. This cord helps in creating an initial separation but might not suffice on its own for thin biotypes.

2. Retraction Paste with Aluminum Chloride:

Gingival Retraction for Thin Biotypes-retraction Paste with Aluminum Chloride

  • Follow up with a retraction paste containing aluminum chloride. This paste is particularly effective for hemostasis due to the properties of aluminum chloride, which helps manage bleeding without causing significant trauma to the soft tissue.
  • The paste’s viscosity aids in minor vertical and horizontal displacement of the gingiva, supplementing the initial separation created by the cord.

By using both a retraction cord and retraction paste, clinicians can achieve better retraction and hemostasis, ensuring the gingiva is adequately displaced for an accurate digital scan.


Gingival Retraction for Thin Biotypes-case Study

Dr. El Ashry presented a case study during the webinar, demonstrating the effectiveness of the combined retraction technique. The patient had thin biotype gingiva in the mandibular anterior zone. After applying the single cord and retraction paste, the final scan showed excellent tissue retraction and hemostasis, allowing for a precise digital impression and, subsequently, a well-fitting restoration.



Achieving ideal gingival retraction in patients with a thin biotype is essential for accurate digital impressions and successful restorative outcomes. Traditional methods may fall short, but the combination of a retraction cord with retraction paste provides a viable solution. This technique not only ensures effective hemostasis and tissue displacement but also minimizes the risk of trauma, making it a preferred choice for dental professionals.

Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will explore ideal gingival retraction techniques for Thick biotypes!


For more detailed insights and practical demonstrations, you can watch the full webinar by Dr. Mohamed El Ashry: Optimizing digital scans with ideal gingival retraction.

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