Collagen or Synthetic Membrane?

Dental Membranes are used to help contain graft particulates and exclude soft tissue invading the defect during the initial healing. Dental membranes are available in fully resorbing and non-resorbing types. This piece focuses on fully resorbing types where a 2nd removal procedure is not required.

Why use a membrane in the first place?

Stability is the key to successful tissue regeneration. New in-situ stabilising graft materials offer increasing appeal – especially those of synthetic type used in protocols where no membrane is required.  Examples of this type containing the osteoconductive materials BetaTCP include Fortoss Vital, ethoss and Gelos.  Powerbone Dental Putty provides the same handling advantage using an advanced form of silicate substituted Beta TCP which has shown to be osteoinductive in addition to providing the conductive scaffold typical of Beta TCP.

Particulate graft materials are unstable

When a ‘form-stable graft is not available a dental membrane will be required to stabilise mobile particles, reduce fibrous encapsulation and act as a barrier to quicker healing soft tissues which can occupy the space between the particles.

This requirement exists irrespective of the graft origin (dentin, autogenous, xenograft, allograft or synthetic).

Similar function – different characteristics

Collagen and resorbable synthetic polymers perform the same function.

Differences exist between each due to the source, processing, and material characteristics. Clinicians transitioning from one to the other should allow time to adapt their techniques.

Collagen – Animal-derived protein from gut, bowel, or pericardium origin. Typically processed from porcine, equine, or bovine sources. Synthetic – Polymer microfibers of varying types and densities produced originally in moulds and more recently via electro-spinning or plasma spray techniques.