Wound healing in an incisional wound is a highly predictable process which has been studied extensively hour-by-hour and day-by-day. Healing in a periodontal defect following gingival flap surgery is, conceptually, a more complex process as one wound margin consists of calcified tissue, including the avascular and rigid root surface. Another complicating factor in this wound healing is the transgingival position of the tooth. Experimental studies, however, have indicated that healing at a dento-gingival interface under optimal conditions occurs at the same rate as in a skin wound. Generally, periodontal healing is characterized by maturation of gingival connective tissue, limited regeneration of alveolar bone and cementum, and the formation of a long junctional epithelium. Such observations have nurtured the hypothesis that the epithelium of the surgical flap needs to be prevented from early access to the root surface during the healing period to achieve connective tissue repair of the root surface-gingival flap interface. Recent experimental findings suggest, however, that connective tissue repair to the root surface following reconstructive periodontal surgery is a function of the establishment and maintenance of a root surface-adhering fibrin clot. Since fibrin adherence to the wound margins is a natural event, it is additionally suggested that apical migration of the gingival epithelium in periodontal surgical wounds may only follow interruption of the adherence of the fibrin clot to the root surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas