Bone defects are a challenge for the dental clinician. As widely accepted in guided tissue regeneration, physically halting soft connective tissue proliferation into bone allows for bone regeneration. This concept is the "osteopromotion principle." The aim of this study was to assess the osteopromoting effect of calcium sulfate as a barrier.
Forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were used. Mucoperiosteal flaps were raised bilaterally at buccal and lingual aspects of the mandible to expose the angles. Next, 5 mm through-and-through bony defects were created bilaterally. On the test side, sterile medical grade prehardened calcium sulfate disks were applied both lingually and buccally to cover the defect. The control side defects were left uncovered. All flaps were sutured closed. Observation times were 3, 9, 18, and 22 weeks.
Histologic analysis demonstrated that at 3 weeks all test sites showed partial or complete bone healing. Similar findings were reported for all observation times. The control group showed no bone growth at 3 and 9 weeks and partial bone healing at 18 and 22 weeks.
This study indicates that calcium sulfate barriers can exclude connective tissues, allowing bone regeneration during healing.