Bone-regeneration techniques used to counteract the atrophying of the alveolar bone after tooth extraction often involve socket-seal techniques, but there has been a lack of information about the pros and cons of specific approaches.
A systematic review of clinical trials assessing different techniques – now summarised as JCP Digest 103 – compared techniques for alveolar-ridge preservation that involve primary closure (such as the coronally advanced flap, free gingival grafts, and connective-tissue grafts) with other techniques.
The study found that when the socket was covered with a flap or graft the width of the ridge was more efficiently preserved than when a barrier membrane was used.
But it also found that there were no statistically significant differences between the different socket-seal techniques nor between alveolar-ridge preservation with primary closure and that with secondary healing.
The research, carried out by periodontal scientists in Porto Alegre (Brazil) and Berlin (Germany), was summarised for JCP Digest by postgraduate students at the EFP-accredited programme in periodontology at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Israel.