Proper wound healing after regenerative surgical procedures is an essential issue for clinical success. Guided tissue regeneration (GTR) and application of enamel matrix derivatives (EMD) are common means to regenerate periodontal tissues. Both methods bear considerable advantages due to their special characteristics, but also go along with certain disadvantages. Today, there is no consensus in the literature whether GTR or EMD show better results regarding early wound healing, which is considered a crucial stage in periodontal regeneration. Therefore, the aim of the present systematic review was to compare the early wound healing after regenerative periodontal surgery with either EMD or GTR treatment.
An electronic literature search in PubMed was performed to identify randomized clinical trials (RCTs) or clinical trials (CTs) comparing regenerative surgery employing EMD and/or GTR in patients with chronic periodontitis. Among the finally included studies, a qualitative and quantitative data extraction regarding early wound healing parameters was performed. Primary outcome parameters were early wound healing index (EWH), flap dehiscence, membrane exposure, suppuration and abscess formation during the first 6 weeks. As secondary parameters, swelling and allergic reactions were assessed.
Seven studies reporting 220 intrabony periodontal defects in 199 patients were analysed. Flap dehiscence was observed in two studies in 12% of the GTR treated sites and in 10.3% of those treated with EMD. Membrane exposure was evaluated in five studies and was registered in the 28.8% of the defects, while no dehiscence was reported on the EMD group. Swelling was reported only in one study in 8/16 GTR sites and 7/16 EMD sites. Due to considerable heterogeneity of parameters no meta-analysis was possible.
Due to considerable heterogeneity of the published studies a clear beneficial effect of the EMD on the early wound healing outcomes after surgical treatment of periodontal intrabony defects cannot be confirmed. Standardized RCT studies are needed in order to allow for proper comparison of early wound healing after both types of surgical approaches.