Objectives: The purpose of this human clinical trial was to compare the degradation profiles of three different collagen membranes under conditions mimicking exposure to the oral cavity.
Materials and methods: Three collagen membranes, ribose cross-linked (RCL), glutaraldehyde cross-linked (GCL), and non-cross-linked (NCL) were tested. The membranes were placed over the buccal mucosa of 20 human volunteers, apical to the gingival margins in the maxillary premolar and molar region. A periodontal dressing was placed over the membranes and secured in the interproximal spaces. The dressing was removed after 10 days, and membrane integrity was evaluated by two examiners using a Likert-like grading scale (grades 1-5).
Results: Eight subjects withdrew from the study due to discomfort, pain, or dislodging of the pack. Of the three membranes tested, RCL appeared to be the most resistant to degradation (median grade 5), compared with GCL (2.25) and NCL (1.75).
Conclusions: Marked differences in membrane integrity were found between the three tested membranes after 10 days in the oral cavity. These differences may be part of the important factors determining the outcome of the regenerative treatment modality in cases of premature membrane exposure.