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Vol. 68, No. 10
ISSN: 1488-2159
November 2002


Furcation Therapy with Bioabsorbable Collagen Membrane: A Clinical Trial


• Vijay K. Pruthi, DDS, Cert Perio, Diplomate, American Board of Periodontology •
• Shirley C. Gelskey, MPH, PhD •
• Sayed M. Mirbod, BSc, MSc, DDS, MDent (Perio) •

A b s t r a c t

This study compared the effectiveness of 2 barrier membranes, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE) and collagen, in treating Class II furcation defects of mandibular molars in humans. Seventeen nonsmoking subjects with no history of systemic disease each presenting with Class II furcation defects in 2 mandibular molars were selected and underwent initial therapy. At the time of the surgery and at 8-month follow-up, soft-tissue measurements consisting of the gingival index, vertical and horizontal probing depth, recession and clinical attachment level were obtained at the midfurcation level. At the time of membrane placement and at 12-month re-entry, horizontal midfurcation probing depth and hard-tissue measurement of vertical fill (from the crown to the depth of the pocket) were also obtained.

According to the surgical protocol, both membranes were completely covered with a coronally positioned flap, and in all cases healing was uneventful. Data were analyzed first by comparing baseline measurements (at surgery) with measurements at 8-month follow-up and 12-month re-entry for both e-PTFE and collagen membranes according to repeated-measures analysis of variance. The changes from surgery to follow-up and re-entry were then compared between the 2 treatment modalities with paired Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. No statistically significant differences were found between e-PTFE and collagen membranes with respect to gingival index, reduction in probing depth, gain in clinical attachment or filling of the horizontal defect.

However, the improvement in vertical fill at 12-month re-entry was more substantial for the teeth treated with collagen membrane than those treated with e-PTFE (p < 0.05). Within the limits of this study, it appears that collagen is a beneficial material for regenerative therapy of Class II furcation defects in humans, yielding results that are similar to or better than (vertical fill) those for e-PTFE membrane.


MeSH Key Words: collagen/metabolism; furcation defects/surgery; guided tissue regeneration/methods
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