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Dr Martina Stefanini talks up Geistlich Fibro-Gide® over connective tissue grafts

By Joseph Allbeury

Italian Periodontist and researcher, Dr Martina Stefanini, was one of the presenters at Osteology Barcelona in April. We caught up with Dr Stefanini there after her workshop on Recession coverage around teeth and implants to hear about her latest research with Geistlich Fibro-Gide®.


Thank you for talking to us today. I wanted to talk about coverage of soft tissue recession in periodontology and I understand that you're using Geistlich Fibro-Gide® for this rather than, say, a connective tissue graft. Why is that?

Yes. I'm working a lot with connective tissue substitutes because I can reduce the pain and the discomfort for my patients. I think that Geistlich Fibro-Gide® is a very good alternative, especially when you need to increase soft tissue thickness around both teeth and implants. The most important thing is that you have enough keratinised tissue remaining apical to the gingival recession, so your flap will remain stable in the coronal position. And thanks to the adjunctive use of Geistlich Fibro-Gide®, we're able to increase the soft tissue thickness.

Do you see this as a notable shift in periodontology?

Yes, because you can reduce the time taken for your surgical procedure. You reduce the pain for your patient. You have only one surgical site instead of two as you do when you perform the harvesting procedure. There is no doubt that introduction of this new biomaterial is a game-changer in periodontology.

Is it a hundred percent successful?

Let's say a hundred percent success in dentistry and in medicine is almost impossible. But we've published some results in the literature that show that the procedure is safe and predictable, with a percentage of root coverage that is similar to the percentage of root coverage that you can obtain with a connective tissue graft.

And can you explain the extent of the research you've been doing?

I'm doing research using collagen matrixes in conjunction with hyaluronic acid that can be incorporated in the collagen matrix that will shorten the healing time and improve the quality of the healing. So, this is a further step into the periodontic surgical procedure that combines the collagen matrix with this new biomaterial to obtain some more successful results.

That's exciting.

It is but the data will be published soon so I cannot give you a spoiler about my research!

Got it. Would you say that all your procedures now include Geistlich Fibro-Gide® or are you still using connective tissue grafts occasionally?

In some indications, we still need to use connective tissue grafts, especially, for example, in the treatment of gingival recession in lower incisors or when we raise a flap where there is no keratinised tissue remaining apical to the gingival recession. In this indication, the CTG is still the gold standard, but in all other cases, Geistlich Fibro-Gide® is very predictable and safe as an alternative.

And you're seeing great results with this with your patients?

Yes, my patients are very happy because the surgical procedure is very short, with no post-op pain and a very successful result. So this is not only from a clinical point of view, but also from a patient perspective, which is of paramount importance. And obviously the aesthetics is always great because with the connective tissue graft, in some cases, you can have exposure of the graft or an excessive growth of the connective tissue graft, which is not ideal aesthetically. But with Geistlich Fibro-Gide®, success from an aesthetic point of view is highly predictable.

And is this a shift across periodontology in regard to moving to products like Geistlich Fibro-Gide®? Are all specialists getting on board with this?

Yes, definitely. Because if you don't have to use a connective tissue graft, then the surgical procedure is easier. Clinicians who are not familiar with periodontal surgery can also start to learn these surgical procedures thanks to this material that allows us to perform far easier surgical procedures.

Excellent. Thank you very much for your time.

Thank you for inviting me.

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