Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 1185–1195 | Cite as

Volumetric and linear changes at dental implants following grafting with volume-stable three-dimensional collagen matrices or autogenous connective tissue grafts: 6-month data

  • Nadja Naenni
  • Stefan P. Bienz
  • Goran I. Benic
  • Ronald E. Jung
  • Christoph H. F. Hämmerle
  • Daniel S. Thoma
Original Article



The objective of this study was to test whether or not soft tissue augmentation with a volume-stable collagen matrix (VCMX) leads to similar volume gain around dental implants compared to autogenous subepithelial connective tissue graft (SCTG).

Materials and methods

In 12 adult beagle dogs, immediate implants were placed with simultaneous guided bone regeneration. After 25–45 weeks, soft tissue augmentation was randomly performed using VCMX, SCTG, or a sham-operated control. Impressions were taken pre-op and post-op (tissue augmentation) and again at sacrifice after healing periods of 4, 8, and 24 weeks. They were then digitized to allow for superimposition. Values of linear and volumetric changes were calculated.


The median increase (pre-op to post-op) in buccal volume measured 0.92 mm for VCMX, 1.47 mm for SCTG, and 0.24 mm for SH. The values (pre-op to sacrifice) were − 0.25 mm for VCMX, 0.52 mm for SCTG, and − 0.06 mm for group SH. The median ridge width 2 mm below the crest measured − 0.26 mm for VCMX, 0.53 mm for SCTG, and − 0.15 mm for SH (pre-op to sacrifice).


Volume augmentation using VCMX and SCTG resulted in an increase in ridge dimension (pre- to post-op). During the follow-up, the volume decreased in all three groups to a level close to the situation prior to surgery.

Clinical relevance

Soft tissue volume augmentation around dental implants is usually performed using the patient’s own tissue. This therapy is associated with an increased morbidity due to a second surgical site. Soft tissue volume at implant sites can be augmented using VCMX and SCTG. The gain on top of the ridge appears not to be stable during the follow-up in both groups.


Collagen matrix Soft tissue Soft tissue augmentation Grafting Dental implants 



The authors would like to express thanks to the team of Biomatech Namsa, Lyon, France, for excellent support in animal care and housing. The support and expertise of Sibylle Huber, Geistlich Pharma AG, Wolhusen, Switzerland, is highly acknowledged. The help of Gisela Müller, study monitor at the Clinic for Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics and Dental Material Science, University of Zurich, is highly appreciated.


The study was supported by a research grant of Geistlich Pharma AG, Wolhusen, Switzerland.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadja Naenni
    • 1
  • Stefan P. Bienz
    • 1
  • Goran I. Benic
    • 1
  • Ronald E. Jung
    • 1
  • Christoph H. F. Hämmerle
    • 1
  • Daniel S. Thoma
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinic of Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics and Dental Material Science, Center of Dental MedicineUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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