Objectives: The aim was to test whether or not soft tissue augmentation with a newly developed collagen matrix (CM) leads to volume gain in chronic ridge defects similar to those obtained by an autogenous subepithelial connective tissue graft (SCTG).
Material and methods: In six dogs, soft tissue volume augmentation was performed by randomly allocating three treatment modalities to chronic ridge defects (CM, SCTG, sham-operated control). Impressions were taken before augmentation (baseline), at 28, and 84 days. The obtained casts were optically scanned and the images were digitally analysed. A defined region of interest was measured in all sites and the volume differences between the time points were calculated.
Results: The mean volume differences per area between baseline and 28 days amounted to a gain of 1.6 mm (CM; SD+/-0.9), 1.5 mm (SCTG; +/-0.1), and a loss of 0.003 mm (control; +/-0.3). At 84 days, the mean volume differences per area to baseline measured a gain of 1.4 mm (CM; +/-1.1), 1.4 mm (SCTG; +/-0.4), and a loss of 0.3 mm (control; +/-0.3). The differences between CM and SCTG were statistically significant compared with control at 28 and 84 days (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Within the limits of this animal study, the CM may serve as a replacement for autogenous connective tissue.