• alveolar ridge preservation;
  • bone grafts;
  • histology;
  • histomorphometry;
  • membrane;
  • socket preservation



The aim of this article was to systematically review histological and histomorphometrical data from literature that provide information regarding the effect of alveolar ridge preservation procedures on healing after tooth extraction in humans.

Materials and methods

The MEDLINE-PubMed and the Cochrane CENTRAL databases were searched up to September 2012; 38 papers were selected from 646 founded. A meta-analysis was performed regarding the variations in the mean percentage of Bone, Connective Tissue and Residual Graft Material between three different types of Procedures.


The highest value regarding bone percentages is produced at 3 months by Procedures with Allografts (54.4%), while the lowest is obtained, at 5 months, by those using Xenografts (23.6%). Referring to connective tissue, the highest and lowest values are shown at 7 months, with Allografts (67%) and Alloplasts (27.1%), respectively. Regarding residual graft material, the lowest rates are displayed by Procedures with Allografts (12.4–21.11%), while those using Xenografts and Alloplasts showed the best results at 7 months (37.14 and 37.23%). No statistical difference was found.


With the limitations due to the features of the selected papers, no major histological and histomorphometrical differences arose among different procedures or when compared to spontaneous healing. Thus, it might be argued that in preserved sites it is unnecessary to wait over 3 to 4 months prior to implant insertion.