BACKGROUND: When keratinized tissue width around dental implants is poorly represented, the clinician could resort to autogenous soft tissue grafting. Autogenous soft tissue grafting procedures are usually associated with a certain degree of morbidity. Collagen matrices could be used as an alternative to reduce morbidity and intra-operatory times. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a xenogeneic collagen matrix as a substitute for soft tissue grafting around dental implants.
METHODS: Fifteen consecutive patients underwent a vestibuloplasty and keratinized tissue reconstruction around dental implants, both in the mandible and the maxilla, with a porcine collagen matrix. The so obtained keratinized tissues were measured and evaluated after 6 months and 1, 4, and 5 years.
RESULTS: The average gain of keratinized tissue was 5.7 mm. After 6 months, it was observed a resorption of 37%, after 1 year 48%, and after 5 years 59%. The mean gain of keratinized tissue after 5 years was 2.4 mm. Hemostatic effect and post-operative pain were evaluated too. All subjects referred minimal pain with no bleeding. No adverse reaction nor infection was noted.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study showed the efficacy of a porcine collagen matrix in keratinized tissue augmentation. The possibility to use a soft tissue substitute is a great achievement as morbidity decreases and bigger areas can be treated in a single surgery.