Regeneration of alveolar bone and cementum following reconstructive therapy with reinforced space providing expanded polytetrafluorethylene (ePTFE) membranes was evaluated in supraalveolar mandibular premolar periodontal defects in five beagle dogs. The surgically-created defects in contralateral jaw quadrants were randomly assigned to receive the dome-shaped membrane or serve as surgical control. Flaps were positioned to completely submerge the teeth and sutured. The dogs were sacrificed 8 weeks after surgery and tissue blocks including teeth and surrounding structures processed for histology. Membrane treated defects in two animals became exposed and infected leaving intact quadrants in three dogs for histometric analysis. Parameters evaluated included defect height, height and area of regenerated alveolar bone, height of regenerated cementum, root resorption, and ankylosis. Mean defect height approximated 4.1 mm. Mean height (+/- s.d.) of regenerated alveolar bone amounted to 2.9 +/- 0.6 and 0.6 +/- 0.2 mm for membrane and control defects, respectively (P = 0.006). Corresponding values for bone area were 1.4 +/- 0.7 and 0.4 +/- 0.4 mm2 (P = 0.02). Cementum regeneration was observed in all teeth averaging (+/- s.d.) 1.6 +/- 0.3 mm for membrane treated and 0.1 +/- 0.1 mm for control defects (P = 0.01). Small amounts of root resorption were seen in all teeth with no significant difference between treatments. Ankylosis was noticed in three membrane treated and two control teeth. The present study provides a biologic rationale for space provision for enhanced bone and cementum regeneration in periodontal defects subject to reconstructive therapy.
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