Membranes, what are they, the different types and their properties?

You may ask be asking what is a membrane and what is its purpose in bone grafting? A membrane is a barrier placed over bone graft to prevent the ingrowth of epithelium. For a bone graft implant done without a membrane, chances are, competing cells from the soft tissue will populate the treatment area.

 

Before Bone Graft and Membrane Placement by Dr. Soordhar

 
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bone-graft-before-2

 

After Bone Graft and Membrane Placement – Full Bone Regeneration Obtained by Dr. Soordhar

 
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bone-graft-after-2

 

This will then result in the prevention of osteogenesis. The membrane is always placed over the bone graft and under the gum. It prevents graft resorption. Membranes exist in various types and styles. They include:
 

  • Resorbable membranes
  • Non-resorbable membranes
  • Platelet Rich Fibrin membranes, etc.

Resorbable Membrane
 
They look like flat, white pieces of cardboard and most are made of collagen. These membranes are less subject to infection as compared to non-resorbable ones. They are cell occlusive.
 
You may get creeping epithelialization in a few weeks, over the membrane. For extended periods of time, some resorbable membranes may not functions as an intact barrier. They can dissolve in days, while other take months to dissolve.

 

Non-resorbable Membrane
 
Non-resorbable membranes act as long-term barriers. They are mostly made of titanium and are predictable in, bone generation. One’s saliva cannot dissolve it.
 
Membranes reinforced by titanium are ideal for holding space. However, non-resorbable membrane requires a second procedure; it could be a simple plucking of the membrane or more involved, in that, your gum may need reopening.
 
They sometimes have unfavorable soft tissue response.
 
Platelet Rich Fibrin Membrane
 
The Platelet Rich Fibrin membrane, also referred to as PRF membrane could be categorized among the resorbable membranes. This membrane has properties that are unique to it and ones that aren’t in other membranes in the same category.
 
As its name suggests, the PRF membrane is made from one’s platelets. It doesn’t wash out like RBC in early stages of clotting and can be sutured. It is also more dense and elastic than a normal blood clot; thus it can stretch to even 1.8 times.
 
They also do not require primary closure.
 
There are different types of membranes; each with unique properties from the others. During bone grafting sessions, not all dentist or dental implant specialists use a membrane to cover the graft material. You need to discuss options with your doctor and get more information on membranes before you make a choice whether to have them placed or not.
 

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