What is a Membrane?
The membrane serves as a barrier that prevent the growth of your gum right into your bone cavity. In various bone grafts done during the dental implantation process, this membrane is positioned under the gum and right above the bone. Your dentist chooses the best type of membrane depending on your needs. However, there are basically two different categories of membranes such as the dissolvable (resobable) and non-dissolvable (non-resorbable). Both of these membrane types come with their specific uses and features. For instance, the resorbable can dissolve right on its own while the non-resorbable will have to be taken out at certain stage of the dental implantation or bone graft process.
Features of the Resorbable Membrane
The common type of resorbable membrane used for dental implantation is crafted out of collagen. This material is a type of protein that is commonly used in hair products such as conditioners and shampoos, to name a few. By nature, this product is cross-linked, which makes it capable of serving as a strong barrier. Among the collagen membranes that are sold in the market measure 15 by 20 millimeters, and they appear as a flat and white-colored cardboard.
When used, the specialist trims the collagen using surgical scissors to achieve the precise measurement needed. Afterwards, the collagen is covered over the bone. It is also important to note that most types of collagen membranes come from porcine or achilles tendon of cows.
As for resorbable types of membranes, also known as plugs, these typically dissolve easily in a matter of days. On the other hand, there are resorbable membranes that tend to dissolve in a longer period, which can take at least 4 months. Furthermore, a number of resorbable membranes do not need titanium fixation tacks to keep them in place. There are also some other membranes of this type that use pericardium that comes from the heart tissue.
For those who prefer a more natural kind of resorbable membrane, there is an option to get one that comes from the patient's blood. Your platelets contain fibrin, and this may be used to make resorbable membrane with all-natural components. This component is placed in a test tube, which is then spun around in a centrifuge, or a type of machine that enables the separation of the different layers of your blood.
Primarily, the platelet-rich fibrin can function as a resorbable membrane since it has the capability to last for as much as 14 days. During the process, this material is made thin and completely stretched out to make it capable of suturation. It also begins to have a slimy consistency that keeps it durable and ready to be used a s a protective material for a bone graft. A platelet-rich fibrin can also serve as an additional material to be used for a resorbable or a non-resorbable membrane during the dental implantation or bone grafting process.
Facts about Non-Resorbable Membrane
A large percentage of non-resorbable types of membrane is made out of sturdy materials such as dense polytetrafluoroethylene and titanium. Since these materials are quite durable, they can function as an excellent barrier. In fact, they are very reliable enough that even saliva is incapable of dissolving this material. To ensure the stability of the membrane, bone tacks are used to keep it in place, as well as to serve as a protective covering for the bone graft.
The best thing about a non-resorbable membrane is the fact that it is easy to predict when it can generate bone. However, the membrane should be taken out during the second procedure, which may involve a simple process such as the removal off the top part of the socket graft. There are also instances when a more complicated procedure is performed, which may require reopening the gum completely and getting rid of the bone tacks before the membrane is entirely removed.
In case there is a need to remove the tacks, the implants will be placed while taking the membrane out. This is why membranes reinforced with titanium work best since they can hold a space quite well. Gums are prevented from collapsing while new mass and volume are built underneath to promote greater strength over time.
There are instances when the membranes on your socket graft is taken out after at least a week to about one month. The membrane may also fall out on its own when the material used is a dense polytetrafluoroethylene. There is nothing wrong with this since it facilitates the growth of gums underneath while covering the bone graft. After the membrane is removed, there is a waiting period of about 3 to 6 months to allow healing of the bone prior to placing the dental implant.