The use of enamel matrix derivative in the treatment of periodontal defects: a literature review and meta-analysis

Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 2004 Nov 1;15(6):382-402. doi: 10.1177/154411130401500605.


Background: Periodontal disease results in the loss of the attachment apparatus. In the last three decades, an increasing effort has been placed on seeking procedures and materials to promote the regeneration of this tissue. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effect of enamel matrix derivative (EMD) during regenerative procedures. In addition, a meta-analysis is presented regarding the clinical results during regeneration with EMD, to gain evidence as to what can be accomplished following treatment of intrabony defects with EMD in terms of probing depth reduction, clinical attachment level gain, defect fill (using re-entry studies), and radiographic parameters.

Methods: The review includes in vitro and in vivo studies as well as human case reports, clinical comparative trials, and histologic findings. In addition, a meta-analysis is presented regarding the regenerative clinical results. For this purpose, we used 28 studies-including 955 intrabony defects treated with EMD that presented baseline and final data on probing depth, clinical attachment level (CAL) gain, or bone gain-to calculate weighted mean changes in the different parameters. The selected studies were pooled from the MEDLINE database at the end of May, 2003.

Results: The meta-analysis of intrabony defects treated with EMD resulted in a mean initial probing depth of 7.94 +/- 0.05 mm that was reduced to 3.63 +/- 0.04 mm (p = 0.000). The mean clinical attachment level changed from 9.4 +/- 0.06 mm to 5.82 +/- 0.07 mm (p = 0.000). These results were significantly better than the results obtained for either open-flap debridement (OFD) or guided tissue regeneration (GTR). In contrast, histologically, GTR is more predictable than EMD in terms of bone and cementum formation. No advantage was found for combining EMD and GTR. Xenograft, or EMD and xenograft, yielded inferior results compared with EMD alone, but a limited number of studies evaluated this issue. Promising results were noted for the combination of allograft materials and EMD.

Conclusions: EMD seems to be safe, was able to regenerate lost periodontal tissues in previously diseased sites based on clinical parameters, and was better than OFD or GTR. Its combination with allograft materials may be of additional benefit but still needs to be further investigated.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Bone Substitutes
  • Bone Transplantation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dental Cementum / drug effects
  • Dental Enamel Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Dental Enamel Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration, Periodontal
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / drug therapy*
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / surgery
  • Periodontal Ligament / drug effects


  • Bone Substitutes
  • Dental Enamel Proteins
  • enamel matrix proteins