Evaluation of Healing at Molar Extraction Sites With and Without Ridge Preservation: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Christopher J Walker, Thomas J Prihoda, Brian L Mealey, David J Lasho, Marcel Noujeim, Guy Huynh-Ba
Journal of Periodontology 2017, 88 (3): 241-249

BACKGROUND: To date, limited evidence is available specifically evaluating ridge preservation (RP) and implant placement in molar sites. The primary aim of this study is to radiographically compare alveolar ridge changes with and without RP with cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT).

METHODS: This parallel, two-arm randomized clinical trial included 40 patients evenly distributed between two treatment groups. After molar extraction, sites were allowed to heal naturally or received RP with freeze-dried bone allograft covered by a non-resorbable dense polytetrafluoroethylene membrane. CBCT scans were taken immediately and 3 months postextraction, and then a dental implant was placed. Width and height measurements were made radiographically.

RESULTS: Significantly greater loss in alveolar ridge height was found in molar sites allowed to heal without RP on the buccal aspect of the socket (RP: -1.12 ± 1.60 mm versus no RP: -2.60 ± 2.06 mm, P = 0.01). No significant difference in ridge width loss was found between groups. Two-thirds ridge width reduction was experienced on the buccal aspect in sites without RP, but width loss was evenly distributed between buccal and lingual aspects when RP was performed. Bone grafting at time of placement was required in 25% of implants in the group without RP versus 10% of implants in the RP group.

CONCLUSIONS: In molar extraction sites without RP, significantly more reduction in ridge height occurred, and the majority of ridge width loss was localized to the buccal aspect. When RP was performed, ridge width loss was not significantly decreased, but the loss was evenly distributed between facial and lingual aspects of the extraction site.

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