The present study was designed to examine whether new attachment forms on root surfaces previously exposed to plaque by preventing the oral epithelium and the gingival connective tissue from participating in the process of healing following treatment. 4 roots in each of 3 monkeys were used as test units while the roots of contralateral teeth served as controls. A surgical procedure was first used to expose the coronal half of the buccal root surfaces. Plaque was allowed to accumulate on the exposed surfaces for a period of 6 months. Subsequently, soft tissue flaps were raised and the root surfaces were carefully scaled and planed. The crowns of the test and control teeth were resected and the mucosal flaps were repositioned and sutured in such a way that the roots were properly covered. Immediately prior to suturing, membranes (Millipore filter or Gore-tex membrane) were placed over the denuded root surfaces of the test teeth in order to prevent granulation tissue from the soft tissue flaps from reaching the roots during healing. The monkeys were sacrificed 3 months later. The jaws were removed and histological sections of test and control roots including their periodontal tissues were produced. New cementum with inserting collagen fibers was observed on the previously exposed surfaces of both test and control roots. However, the test surfaces exhibited considerably more new attachment than the control surfaces, indicating that the placement of the membrane favoured repopulation of the wound area adjacent to the roots by cells originating from the periodontal ligament.

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