PURPOSE: This prospective study is aimed at investigating clinically and histologically the effectiveness of a biomimetic magnesium-enriched-hydroxyapatite (MgHA)/collagen-based bone substitute for alveolar socket preservation. MATERIALS: Patients scheduled for posterior single tooth extraction were included. The alveolar socket was filled either with MgHA or deproteinized bovine bone matrix (DBBM). In DBBM group, a punch of mucosa was taken from the palate and used to cover the graft. Vertical and horizontal dimensional changes of the alveolar process were assessed clinically with a periodontal probe and with 3-dimensional (3D) analysis of a cast model. Postoperative quality of life was assessed through a questionnaire. After 6 months of healing, an alveolar tissue biopsy was taken for histologic and histomorphometric analysis of the newly formed tissue. After checking normality of the distributions, parametric or nonparametric tests were used for statistical comparisons. RESULTS: Twenty patients (12 males, 8 females, mean age 42.8 ± 5.1 years, range 33-50 years) were treated. After 6 months, vertical and horizontal alveolar ridge resorption was similar in the 2 groups. The 3D analysis of the models showed a significantly higher resorption at the buccal side than at the palatal/lingual side. Histomorphometric analysis showed similar new bone formation for MgHA group (23.07 ± 10.3%) and DBBM (22.77 ± 6.95%), and a significantly higher residual material% for DBBM (15.77 ± 1.95%) than MgHA (5.01 ± 1.04%). Significantly less pain was reported in the first 3 days after surgery in patients of the MgHA group. CONCLUSION: The MgHA was as safe and effective as DBBM and may represent a feasible bone substitute for alveolar socket preservation.
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