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31 Jul 2023 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Dr Daniel Thoma and his research on 5 years of Geistlich Fibro-Gide®

By Joseph Allbeury

Swiss Prosthodontist, Dr Daniel Thoma, was one of the presenters at Osteology Barcelona in April. We caught up with Dr Thoma there after his workshop on Modern soft-tissue management with autologous tissues and substitutes to hear about his latest research with Geistlich Fibro-Gide®.


Thank you very much for your time, Daniel. Can you please tell me about the importance of soft tissue grafting in terms of establishing horizontal width and can you share with us your research in this area?

Yes, absolutely. I think predominantly when we deal with dental implants, we understood in the past that there is mainly one main priority in the aesthetic zone, which is that we want sufficient volume and contour. And part of it is obviously the horizontal contour. So, in the past, we have been using autogenous grafts. Now, based on research in collaboration with many different universities, we're able to also use soft tissues substitutes. This is quite important for achieving aesthetic perfection.

And how important is a product like Geistlich Fibro-Gide® to that?

I think it's highly important for two main reasons. I think it's important for clinicians because it opens up the field for these surgical techniques to a larger population of clinicians because in my mind, I think it's easier to handle compared to a traditional connective tissue graft, which are kind of difficult to harvest from the palate. On the other hand, the most important benefits overall are that you can reduce patient morbidity compared to connective tissue grafting. So, I consider it to be a highly important development.

And is this something being up taken by the specialist community as well as general dentists?

I think it heavily depends on the region. Being a specialist and if you look around the world at specialists, we have been trained to use specific techniques for harvesting autogenous grafts for many years. It takes quite a lot to convince us to do something else and if you have a specific product, you have to charge for it and it might be a reason not to use it. So maybe this is why it is used less by specialists. However, I clearly see it is being used by many general practitioners.

Great. And I understand that Geistlich Fibro-Gide® is now available in a 3mm thickness. How's that affecting your work?

Perhaps in 95% of all cases, you would probably end up using the 3mm thickness, which means with the traditional thickness of 6mm, you would have to trim it by 50%, which is not that simple. It takes a little more time. It's ideal to have something that has a thickness already of 3mm, which is probably the best thickness for the majority of the cases.

And I understand you've published some research on Geistlich Fibro-Gide® recently based on five year's of usage. Could you share details about that please?

Sure. I think the first oral surgery we ever did using Geistlich Fibro-Gide® was in single implant sites where we augmented the soft tissues in a horizontal way so it's an RCT with the comparison of using an autogenous graft. So, once crowns were delivered, we're following up our patients over five years and that's quite important. I think no one believes in a product if you don't share some longer-term data and one of the benchmarks is obviously five years. In this case, the outcomes are the same compared to using an autogenous graft, which means it's a clinical success in the long run.

Excellent. So what is the clinical relevance of using Geistlich Fibro-Gide® for clinicians?

Well, the clinical relevance is that it's a matter of indications. I think I mentioned in the beginning, I really see it indicated as for aesthetic reasons. On the other hand, we have also understood in the past, based on some studies that have been done in the mid-nineties, that it's quite important also to establish a certain vertical thickness in the posterior cell. And here I see another indication for using Geistlich Fibro-Gide®.

Excellent. Thank you very much.

You're welcome.

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