The immediate placement of implants following extraction is increasingly commonplace. Yet, few studies have investigated how the healing of extraction sockets differs from that of osteotomies, and how any differences might influence implant osseointegration.
Pei and coworkers1 used mouse models to investigate these scenarios at the cellular level. In extraction sockets, the authors observed that remnants of a healthy periodontal ligament could mineralize and contribute to new bone formation.
Healing of extraction sockets, where remnants of a healthy periodontal ligament were present, was also observed to be faster than the healing of osteotomies, where the periodontal ligament had been stripped out.
These observations suggest that surgical approaches to minimize trauma and maximize retention of formerly healthy tissue may benefit healing and, in turn, implant osseointegration.