Objectives: The aim of the present experiment was to study events involved in the healing of marginal, central and apical compartments of an extraction socket, from the formation of a blood clot, to bone tissue formation and remodeling of the newly formed hard tissue.
Material and methods: Nine mongrel dogs were used for the experiment. The fourth mandibular premolars were selected for study and were divided into one mesial and one distal portion. The distal root was removed and the socket with surrounding soft and mineralized tissue was denoted "experimental unit". The dogs were killed 1, 3, 7, 14, 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 days after the root extractions. Biopsies including the experimental units were demineralized in EDTA, dehydrated in ethanol and embedded in paraffin. Serial sections 7 microm thick were cut in a mesio-distal plane. From each biopsy, three sections representing the central part of the socket were selected for histological examination. Morphometric measurements were performed to determine the volume occupied by different types of tissues in the marginal, central and apical compartments of the extraction socket at different intervals.
Results: During the first 3 days of healing, a blood clot was found to occupy most of the extraction site. After seven days this clot was in part replaced with a provisional matrix (PCT). On day 14, the tissue of the socket was comprised of PM and woven bone. On day 30, mineralized bone occupied 88% of the socket volume. This tissue had decreased to 15% on day 180. The portion occupied by bone marrow (BM) in the day 60 specimens was about 75%, but had increased to 85% on day 180.
Conclusion: The healing of an extraction socket involved a series of events including the formation of a coagulum that was replaced by (i) a provisional connective tissue matrix, (ii) woven bone, and (iii) lamellar bone and BM. During the healing process a hard tissue bridge--cortical bone--formed, which "closed" the socket.