Introduction

Extraction of teeth triggers a cascade of biologic events, mediated by both the local inflammatory response that follows the surgical intervention and the deprivation of masticatory stimulation of the periodontium. This elicits an alteration of the homeostasis and structural integrity of the periodontal tissues. As a consequence, a physiologic process of disuse atrophy characterized by an intense resorption of the alveolar bone and a partial invagination of the mucosa takes place following tooth extraction. Bone remodeling, that ensues, results in horizontal and vertical ridge reduction.1,2

Implant therapy for rehabilitation of edentulous patients is a common treatment modality. For its long-term success, comprehensive treatment planning and precise technical execution are fundamental necessities. One of the prime essentials for implant osseointegration is adequate bone volume in three dimensions. Considering the above mentioned biologic phenomenon of bone remodeling following extraction, alveolar ridge preservation (ARP) and augmentation to preserve or gain bone volume form an integral part of implant therapy.

This course focuses on natural events that follow extraction, modes of ARP, evaluation of an edentulous site for implant therapy and various surgical options available for ridge augmentation.