Lateral ridge augmentation using different bone fillers and barrier membrane application. A histologic and histomorphometric pilot study in the canine mandible

T von Arx, D L Cochran, J S Hermann, R K Schenk, D Buser
Clinical Oral Implants Research 2001, 12 (3): 260-9
Lateral ridge augmentation has become a standard treatment option to enhance the bone volume of deficient recipient sites prior to implant placement. In order to avoid harvesting an autograft and thereby eliminating additional surgical procedures and risks, bone grafting materials and substitutes are alternative filler materials to be used for ridge augmentation. Before clinical recommendations can be made, such materials must be extensively studied in experimental models simulating relevant clinical situations. The present pilot study was conducted in three dogs. Different grafting procedures were evaluated for augmentation of lateral, extended (8 x 10 x 14 mm) and chronic bone defects in the mandibular alveolar ridge. Experimental sites received tricalcium phosphate (TCP) granules or demineralized freeze-dried bone allograft (DFDBA) particles. Barrier membranes (ePTFE) were placed for graft protection. These approaches were compared to ridge augmentation using autogenous cortico-cancellous block grafts, either with or without ePTFE-membrane application. After a healing period of six months, the sites were analyzed histologically and histomorphometrically. Autografted sites with membrane protection showed excellent healing results with a well-preserved ridge profile, whereas non-protected block grafts underwent bucco-crestal resorption, clearly limiting the treatment outcome. The tested alloplastic (TCP) and allogenic (DFDBA) filler materials presented inconsistent findings with sometimes encapsulation of particles in connective tissue, thereby reducing the crestal bone width. The present pilot study supports the use of autografts with barrier membranes for lateral ridge augmentation of extended alveolar bone defects.

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