Abstract The effect of implantation of poly-(L-lactic) acid membranes on wound healing and wound contraction after palatal surgery was investigated macroscopically in beagle dogs. Thirty beagle dogs were randomly assigned to two experimental groups (group L and LM; both n = 12) and a control group (group C; n = 6). At 12 weeks of age, a soft-tissue defect was created in the median region of the palate by excising a standardized elliptical mucoperiosteal flap. This defect was closed according to the Von Langenbeck technique, leaving two areas of denuded bone. Immediately after surgery, poly-(L-lactic) acid membranes were implanted on the denuded bony areas in the animals of the LM group. In the L group, no poly-(L-lactic) acid membrane was used. Tattoo points were placed in the mucoperiosteum on opposite wound margins in all groups to quantify wound contraction. Standardized intraoral photographs were taken at regular intervals. Wound surface areas and weekly increments of the distance between the tattoo points were calculated. Clinical wound healing was significantly retarded in animals of the LM group. Wound contraction was comparable in both experimental groups and was restricted to the first 2 weeks after surgery. Corresponding lateral migration of the tattoo points in the median region of the palate in these groups occurred in the first week after surgery, followed by wound contraction in the second week. Implantation of poly-(L-lactic) acid membranes following palatal wounding in beagle dogs had no beneficial short-term effects on wound healing and contraction.