Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the healing of post-extraction sockets following alveolar ridge preservation clinically, radiologically, and histologically.
Methods: Overall, 7 extraction sockets in 7 patients were grafted with demineralised bovine bone mineral and covered with a porcine-derived non-crosslinked collagen matrix (CM). Soft tissue healing was clinically evaluated on the basis of a specific healing index. Horizontal and vertical ridge dimensional changes were assessed clinically and radiographically at baseline and 6 months after implant placement. For histological and histomorphometric analysis, bone biopsies were harvested from the augmented sites during implant surgery 6 months after the socket preservation procedure.
Results: Clinically, healing proceeded uneventfully in all the sockets. A trend towards reduced horizontal and vertical socket dimensions was observed from baseline to the final examination. The mean width and height of resorption were 1.21 mm (P=0.005) and 0.46 mm (P=0.004), respectively. Histologically, residual xenograft particles (31.97%±3.52%) were surrounded by either newly formed bone (16.02%±7.06%) or connective tissue (50.67%±8.42%) without fibrous encapsulation. The CM underwent a physiological substitution process in favour of well-vascularised collagen-rich connective tissue.
Conclusions: Socket preservation using demineralised bovine bone mineral in combination with CM provided stable dimensional changes of the alveolar ridge associated with good re-epithelialisation of the soft tissues during a 6-month healing period.
Keywords: Bone regeneration; Bone substitutes; Histology; Tooth loss.