Guided bone generation in a rabbit mandible model after periosteal expansion with an osmotic tissue expander

Peter Abrahamsson, Sten Isaksson, Gunilla Andersson
Clinical Oral Implants Research 2011, 22 (11): 1282-8

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the space-maintaining capacity of titanium mesh covered by a collagen membrane after soft tissue expansion on the lateral border of the mandible in rabbits, and to assess bone quantity and quality using autogenous particulate bone or bone-substitute (Bio-Oss(®) ), and if soft tissue ingrowth can be avoided by covering the mesh with a collagen membrane.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: In 11 rabbits, a self-inflatable soft tissue expander was placed under the lateral mandibular periosteum via an extra-oral approach. After 2 weeks, the expanders were removed and a particulated onlay bone graft and deproteinized bovine bone mineral (DBBM) (Bio-Oss(®) ) were placed in the expanded area and covered by a titanium mesh. The bone and DBBM were separated in two compartments under the mesh with a collagen membrane in between. The mesh was then covered with a collagen membrane. After 3 months, the animals were sacrificed and specimens were collected for histology.

RESULTS: The osmotic soft tissue expander created a subperiosteal pocket and a ridge of new bone formed at the edges of the expanded periosteum in all sites. After the healing period of 3 months, no soft tissue dehiscence was recorded. The mean bone fill was 58.1±18% in the bone grafted area and 56.9±13.7% in the DBBM area. There was no significant difference between the autologous bone graft and the DDBM under the titanium mesh with regard to the total bone area or the mineralized bone area. Scanning electron microscopy showed that new bone was growing in direct contact with the DBBM particles and the titanium mesh. There is a soft tissue ingrowth even after soft tissue expansion and protection of the titanium mesh with a collagen membrane.

CONCLUSION: This study confirms that an osmotic soft tissue expander creates a surplus of periosteum and soft tissue, and that new bone can subsequently be generated under a titanium mesh with the use of an autologous bone graft or DBBM.

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