Purpose: To evaluate aesthetic and patient satisfaction after tooth extraction using a bone substitute (and soft tissue grafting when tissue thickness was lacking) under a pontic to preserve the alveolar ridge for aesthetic purposes. The contralateral natural tooth acted as internal control. Materials and methods: All patients with at least one site under a pontic augmented with Bio-OssŪ or Bio-OssŪ Collagen with or without a concomitant connective tissue graft with at least a follow-up of 6 months after the ridge preservation procedure were eligible for the present retrospective study. Sites with a damaged buccal wall were excluded. Outcome measures were: aesthetics (pink esthetic score, PES) evaluated by an independent and blinded dental hygienist on the basis of clinical pictures, patient satisfaction, patient preference and complications. Results: Twenty-six patients were consecutively treated, and 23 patients attended the evaluation visit. In seven patients, soft tissue grafts were performed in conjunction with Bio-Oss placement. Eight to 86 months after the ridge augmentation procedure (mean 38 months), there were no statistically significant differences observed in PES between preserved sites and control teeth. Patient satisfaction did not show any statistically significant difference between the two groups either. All patients declared they would undergo the same procedure again. Conclusions: Bio-Oss placement in post-extractive sites with a remaining buccal bone plate lead to a good aesthetic result. Randomised clinical trials with suitable control groups are needed to identify the most effective techniques and/or materials to preserve ridges under pontics.
Keywords: aesthetic, bone substitutes, observational study, pontic ridge preservation