Histologic evaluation of autogenous connective tissue and acellular dermal matrix grafts in humans

Lewis C. Cummings, Wayne B. Kaldahl, Edward P. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Background: The clinical success of root coverage with autogenous connective tissue (CT) or acellular dermal matrix (ADM) has been well documented. However, limited histological results of CT grafts have been reported, and a case report of a human block section has been published documenting an ADM graft. The purpose of this study is to document the histological results of CT grafts, ADM grafts, and coronally advanced flaps to cover denuded roots in humans. Methods: This study included four patients previously treatment planned for extractions of three or more anterior teeth. Three teeth in each patient were selected and randomly designated to receive either a CT or ADM graft beneath a coronally advanced flap (tests) or coronally advanced flap alone (control). Six months postoperatively block section extractions were performed and the teeth processed for histologic evaluation with hematoxylin-eosin and Verhoeff's stains. Results: Histologically, both the CT and ADM were well incorporated within the recipient tissues. New fibroblasts, vascular elements, and collagen were present throughout the ADM, while retention of the transplanted elastic fibers was apparent. No effect on the keratinization or connective tissue organization of the overlying alveolar mucosa was evident with either graft. For both materials, areas of cemental deposition were present within the root notches, the alveolar bone was essentially unaffected, and the attachments to the root surfaces were similar. Conclusion: Although CT and ADM have a slightly different histological appearance, both can successfully be used to cover denuded roots with similar attachments and no adverse healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-186
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Gingival recession/surgery
  • Gingival recession/therapy
  • Grafts, acellular dermal matrix
  • Grafts, connective tissue
  • Tooth root
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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