It is increasingly evident that controlled preclinical models with reproducible defect characteristics and biologic reaction are critical for evaluation of safety and efficacy of periodontal reconstructive protocols. Our investigations have characterized a supraalveolar periodontal defect in the mandibular premolar region in the beagle dog. This surgically-created critical size defect heals with almost complete connective tissue attachment following immediate reconstructive surgery. When the defect is exposed to periodontitis-simulating conditions prior to surgery the new connective tissue attachment is reduced. Bone and cementum regeneration is limited for both defect variations. Critical aspects relative to animal selection and management, surgical protocol, histologic and statistical analysis are discussed. This preclinical model has proven effective for evaluation of safety and efficacy of devices and biologics used adjunctive to periodontal reconstructive therapy.
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