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Regeneration of attached gingiva in areas previously composed of gingiva and alveolar mucosa was attempted by means of a surgical procedure in twenty-five patients. Preoperative biopsy specimens of attached gingiva and alveolar mucosa were obtained in each case and used to evaluate the tissue in question thirty days, six months, and one year following surgery. Criteria were formulated for evaluating the postoperative specimens and the interpretations of three observers were analyzed.
In answer to the previously outlined questions, the results indicate that a gingival-like tissue is regenerated.10 The six-month and one-year specimens showed maturity and configuration like that of attached gingiva; the thirty-day specimens showed a lack of maturity but still resembled the connective tissue of gingiva more closely than alveolar mucosa.
The effects of time and function on this tissue should be closely studied, inasmuch as this is fundamentally healing by scarification and may yield characteristic changes with excessive function.
The results indicate that the regenerated tissue is not alveolar mucosa and only the thirty-day specimens show characteristics of immature tissue.
The certainty of elastic-tissue regeneration from the results of this study is not conclusive. Conjecture leads one to observe that true regeneration took place only sporadically and then in a very small number of the specimens.
Further research as to rate and extent of possible elastic-tissue regeneration seems indicated.
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☆This investigation was supported in part by postdoctoral research fellowship (DF-6077-Df-6806) from the National Institute of Dental Research, United States Public Health Service.
© 1959 Published by Elsevier Inc.