In the analysis, the researchers included seven randomized clinical trials that compared connective tissue graft and xenogeneic collagen matrices. A total of 218 implant sites (108 in the connective tissue graft group, 110 in the collagen matrix group) with three to 12 months follow-up period, were evaluated.
The results showed no statistically significant difference in terms of mucosal thickness increase and keratinized mucosa width gain. However, postsurgical discomfort, consumption of painkillers, and treatment times (15.46 minutes less) differed significantly in favor of the collagen matrix group.
The authors concluded: “Our results demonstrated that collagen matrix was as effective as connective tissue graft in increasing peri-implant mucosal thickness…and resulted in significantly less surgical chair-time, patient morbidity, and painkiller consumption.”
The key role of soft tissue augmentation
The consensus report from the Osteology Foundation ascertained that soft tissue grafting to increase the width of keratinized tissue around dental implants can provide greater plaque and gingival index reduction when compared to non-augmented sites.2 In addition, marginal bone levels show better stability following application of autogenous grafts.2 Also, soft tissue grafting to increase the mucosal thickness around implants in the aesthetic zone was associated with significantly less marginal bone loss over time.2 Several materials have been proposed to increase the peri-implant mucosal thickness, including connective tissue grafts,3 allogenic and xenogeneic grafts,4,5 and platelet-rich fibrin.6