Purpose: The aim of this review was to evaluate the techniques and outcomes of postextraction ridge preservation and the efficacy of these procedures in relation to subsequent implant placement.
Materials and methods: A MEDLINE/PubMed search was conducted and the bibliographies of reviews from 1999 to March 2008 were assessed for appropriate studies. Randomized clinical trials, controlled clinical trials, and prospective/retrospective studies with a minimum of five patients were included.
Results: A total of 135 abstracts were identified, from which 53 full-text articles were further examined, leading to 37 human studies that fulfilled the search criteria. Many different techniques, methodologies, durations, and materials were presented in the publications reviewed, making direct comparison difficult.
Conclusions: Despite the heterogeneity of the studies, it was concluded that ridge preservation procedures are effective in limiting horizontal and vertical ridge alterations in postextraction sites. There is no evidence to support the superiority of one technique over another. There is also no conclusive evidence that ridge preservation procedures improve the ability to place implants.