A barrier membrane consisting of an equine-derived, demineralized cortical bone sheet has been made available, yet evidence of its effectiveness is currently only anecdotal. This study aimed to obtain preliminary evidence concerning the medium-term prosthetic and implant success rates that may be achieved when such a membrane is used in combination with an equine, enzyme-treated bone graft, concomitantly to implant placement in the esthetic zone. Records of patients who had one or two implants placed in the anterior sectors of the two arches and had peri-implant bone regeneration carried out using the equine-derived membrane and equine-derived collagen-preserving bone granules were retrospectively collected. Peri-implant marginal bone loss (MBL) was used to assess implant survival. When available, histologic data concerning the equine membrane and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans were analyzed as well. Records of 32 patients (ages 36 to 73 years), corresponding to 44 implants placed, were retrieved and analyzed. The mean follow-up was 113.9 +/- 10.2 months. Two implants failed. The implant success rate was 90.9%. Twelve membrane samples could be retrieved and analyzed, showing the membrane was still occlusive at 4.2 +/- 1.1 months and only beginning to undergo remodeling. Twelve CBCT scans showed that 65.1 +/- 9.8 months after surgery, a newly formed cortical layer could be observed in the zone that had undergone grafting.
The equine cortical bone membrane and the enzyme-treated bone graft used in this case series achieved a medium-term implant and prosthetic success rate that was not dissimilar to that of other resorbable membranes and grafts for peri-implant guided bone regeneration augmentation. Preliminary medium-term histologic and CBCT data suggest that the membrane may be occlusive for a period of at least 4 months and may contribute to preserve the ridge thickness over time.