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Abstract

Gingival recession is a common clinical problem that can result in hypersensitivity, pain, root caries and esthetic concerns. Conventional soft tissue procedures for root coverage require an additional surgical site, thereby causing additional trauma and donor site morbidity. In addition, the grafted tissues heal by repair, with formation of long junctional epithelium with some connective tissue attachment. Guided tissue regeneration-based root coverage was thus developed in an attempt to overcome these limitations while providing comparable clinical results. This paper addresses the biologic foundation of guided tissue regeneration-based root coverage, and describes the indications and contraindications for this technique, as well as the factors that influence outcomes. The step-by-step clinical techniques utilizing collagen membranes are also described. In comparison with conventional soft tissue procedures, the benefits of guided tissue regeneration-based root coverage procedures include new attachment formation, elimination of donor site morbidity, less chair-time, and unlimited availability and uniform thickness of the product. Collagen membranes, in particular, benefit from product biocompatibility with the host, while promoting chemotaxis, hemostasis, and exchange of gas and nutrients. Such characteristics lead to better wound healing by promoting primary wound coverage, angiogenesis, space creation and maintenance, and clot stability. In conclusion, collagen membranes are a reliable alternative for use in root coverage procedures.