It was the aim of this study to compare barrier membrane therapy with connective tissue grafts in the treatment of recession defects. Fifteen patients with 2 paired vestibular recession defects participated in the study. After thorough scaling and root surface conditioning with tetracycline-HCl, defects were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment modalities. In one of the defects, a trapezoidal mucoperiosteal flap was prepared, and a titanium reinforced expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane was adapted to the defect and secured by a sling suture. The membrane was subsequently covered by a coronally positioned flap secured with crown attached sutures. The other defect was treated with a connective tissue graft employing the “envelope technique.” Twelve months after therapy, both treatment modalities showed significant root coverage and probing attachment gain. Gingival recession decreased from 3.6±0.7 mm to 0.5±0.5 mm for membrane treated defects and from 3.6±1.0 mm to 0.5±0.5 mm following use of grafts, corresponding to mean root coverages of 87.1% and 86.9%, respectively. Mean gains of keratinized tissue of 1.5 mm (membrane) and 2.5 mm (graft) could be observed. Thus, the results of this study demonstrate that both titanium reinforced barrier membranes and connective tissue grafts can be successfully used to treat periodontal recession defects. J Periodontol 1998;69:383–391.