R E S E A R C H Open Access
Radiographic outcomes following lateral
alveolar ridge augmentation using
autogenous tooth roots
, Robert Sader
, Didem Sahin
, Jürgen Becker
and Frank Schwarz
Background: To assess and compare the radiographic outcomes following lateral alveolar ridge augmentation
using autogenous tooth roots (TR) and autogenous bone (AB) blocks.
Methods: In a total of 30 patients, lateral ridge augmentation was conducted in parallel groups using either (1)
healthy autogenous tooth roots (e.g., retained wisdom or impacted teeth) (n= 15) or (2) cortical autogenous bone
blocks harvested from the retromolar area. Cone-beam computed tomographic (CBCT) scans taken at 26 weeks of
submerged healing were analyzed for the basal graft integration (i.e., contact between the graft and the host bone
in %) (BI26) and the cross-sectional grafted area (mm
Results: Both groups revealed a comparable clinical width of the alveolar ridge at baseline (CWb). Mean BI26 and
SA26 values amounted to 69.26 ± 26.01% (median 72.44) and 22.07 ± 12.98 mm
(median 18.83) in the TR group
and 79.67 ± 15.66% (median 78.85) and 12.42 ± 10.11 mm
(median 11.36) in the AB group, respectively. Between-
group differences in mean SA26 values were statistically significant (p= 0.031). Linear regression analysis failed to
reveal any significant correlations between BI26 and CWb/SA26 values in either group.
Conclusions: TR grafts may be associated with improved SA26 values following lateral alveolar ridge augmentation.
Trial registration: DRKS00009586. Registered 10 February 2016.
Keywords: Clinical study, Alveolar ridge augmentation, Tooth transplantation
Autogenous bone (AB) blocks harvested from intraoral
donor sites (i.e., retromandibular, chin) are the most
commonly used procedure for lateral alveolar ridge aug-
mentation . However, despite significant horizontal
bone gains, cortical bone blocks were noted to undergo
an incomplete replacement resorption [2,3], thus featur-
ing a composition of non-vital residual and newly
formed vital bone in the former defect area . More-
over, AB blocks are prone to a rapid degradation and
therefore commonly combined with contour augmenta-
tion procedures using slowly resorbing particulate grafts
and barrier membranes .
Recent experimental studies have focused on the use of
extracted tooth roots (TR) as an alternative scaffold to
support bone regeneration at non-self-contained lateral al-
veolar ridge defects. Various outcome measures based on
histological, immunohistochemical, and micro-computed
tomographic analyses did not significantly differ between
differently conditioned TRs (i.e., healthy, endodontically
treated non-infected, periodontally diseased) and retromo-
lar AB grafts [4,6,7]. The median bone-to-implant con-
tact (BIC) values at 3 weeks following implant placement
ranged from 36.96 to 50.79% in the TR group and from
32.53 to 64.10% in the AB group .
These preclinical data have recently been in an initial hu-
man case report aswellasinaprospectivecontrolled
clinical study . In particular, soft tissue healing was un-
eventful in both TR and AB groups. The crestal ridge width
at 26 weeks (CW26) amounted to 10.06 ± 1.85 mm
(median 11.0) in the TR group and 9.20 ± 2.09 mm
* Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Oral Surgery and Implantology, Carolinum, Johann Wolfgang
Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany
Department of Oral Surgery, Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf,
Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
International Journal o
© The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to
the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Parvini et al. International Journal of Implant Dentistry (2018) 4:31
(median 8.50) in the AB group and allowed for a successful
implant placement in all patients investigated .
The aim of the present analysis was to assess and com-
pare the radiographic outcomes in both groups.
Study design and participants
This analysis was based on the radiographic (i.e.,
cone-beam computed tomographic—CBCT) data de-
rived from a prospective controlled clinical monocenter
study including a total of 30 patients . Each partici-
pant exhibited either a tooth gap or a free-end situation
with an inadequate horizontal ridge width and was in
need of an implant-supported fixed restoration.
In brief, lateral ridge augmentation was conducted
according to a standardized procedure under local
One group of patients (n= 15; mean age 41.93 years;
range 19 to 60 years) exhibited either one or more
caries-free partially/fully retained or impacted wisdom
teeth without signs of local pathologies (e.g., cysts). TR
grafts were separated (i.e., crown decapitation, vertical
separation of multi-rooted teeth, preservation of the ex-
posed pulp) from the extracted/surgically removed teeth
and adapted in size and shape to match the defect area. At
the respective downward aspect of the TR graft, the layer
of cementum was carefully removed using a diamond bur
to facilitate ankylosis at the recipient site .
Due to the absence of any suitable wisdom teeth, an-
other group of patients (n= 15; mean age 44.53 years;
range 21 to 60 years) was allocated to the harvesting of
monocortical block grafts from the linea obliqua. Both
TR and AB grafts were rigidly fixed using one to two
titanium osteosynthesis screws (1.5 × 9 mm, Medicon,
Tuttlingen, Germany) after gently flattening the re-
cipient site using a round carbide bur underwater
(i.e., sterile saline) cooling.
Advancement of the mucoperiosteal flaps was achieved
using periosteal-releasing incisions. The coronally reposi-
tioned flaps were fixed using vertical double sutures to
allow for a submerged healing period of 26 weeks (Fig. 1).
All patients had received a perioperative antibiotic
(1× amoxicillin 2 g) as well as a peri- and postopera-
tive (2 days) antiphlogistic prophylaxis (prednisolon,
total of 40 mg). Analgetics (ibuprofen 600 mg) were
provided according to individual needs.
The study outline and the follow-up visits are summa-
rized in Table 1.
Fig. 1 Lateral ridge augmentation—a surgical procedure in the AB and TR groups. aThe retromolar area served as a donor site for the harvesting
of monocortical bone blocks in the AB group. bAB blocks were shaped to match the size and configuration of the defect site and fixed using
one central osteosynthesis screw. cTR grafts were separated from either partially/fully retained or impacted wisdom teeth. dThe most suitable
specimen was positioned and fixed in a way that the exposed dentin faced the defect area, thus facilitating ankylosis at the recipient site. The
crestal perforations were derived from initial attempts to pre-drill the osteosynthesis screw. All sites were left to heal in a submerged position
without providing any contour augmentation procedures
Parvini et al. International Journal of Implant Dentistry (2018) 4:31 Page 2 of 6
Ethics, consent, and permissions
Each patient was given a detailed description of the
study procedures and signed a consent to participate.
The study protocol was approved by the ethics commit-
tee (4837R) of the Heinrich Heine University, Düssel-
dorf, Germany, and registered via the Internet Portal of
the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00009586).
The present reporting considered the checklist items
as proposed in the STROBE statement.
Inclusion and exclusion criteria
The inclusion criteria considered the following condi-
tions: (1) age 18 to 60 years; (2) candidate for lateral
ridge augmentation; (3) insufficient bone ridge width as-
sociated with a non-contained defect at the recipient site
for implant placement, as evidenced intraoperatively; (4)
sufficient bone height at the recipient site for implant
placement, as evidenced in a preoperative panoramic
radiograph; and (5) healthy oral mucosa, at least 3 mm
The exclusion criteria included the following condi-
tions: (1) general contraindications for dental and/or
surgical treatments; (2) inflammatory and autoimmune
disease of the oral cavity; (3) uncontrolled diabetes
(HbA1c > 7%); (4) history of malignancy requiring
chemotherapy or radiotherapy within the past 5 years;
(5) previous immunosuppressant, bisphosphonate, or
high-dose corticosteroid therapy; (6) smokers; and (7)
pregnant or lactating women .
The clinical width (CW) of the alveolar ridge immediately
before the augmentation (CWb) was assessed to the near-
est 0.25 mm by means of a caliper. This was positioned at
2 mm below the crest at the most central aspect of the re-
spective defect site, whose vertical plane was marked by
the osteosynthesis screw. Measurement of CW was re-
peated immediately after augmentation (CWa). Graft
thickness (GT) was calculated as CWa −CWb.
According to the clinical standard procedure, CBCT scans
(25 patients: PaX-i3D Green, Orangedental, Biberach,
Germany, at 95 kV, 8.5–9.0 mAs; 5 patients: ProMax3D,
Planmeca, Helsinki, Finland, at 90 kV, 5.6–9.0 mAs) using
adjusted fields of view (i.e., 5 × 5 and 8 × 5 cm) were taken
at 26 weeks for preoperative implant planning at the
Images of the coronal planes representing the most
central aspect of the respective defect sites were
exported and analyzed for the basal graft integration
(BI26) and the cross-sectional grafted area (mm
(SA26) (ImageJ). In particular, BI26 was measured as a
percentage AB/TR to host bone contact along the basal
graft extension serving as 100%, respectively (Fig. 2).
All measurements were performed by one previously
Sample size calculation and statistical analysis
The sample size calculation considered a standard nor-
mal distribution (type I error set at .05; type II error set
at .20) and a sigma which was estimated based on the
standard deviations observed in a recent preclinical ani-
mal study . The clinical width of the alveolar ridge
was defined as the primary outcome variable, considering
a clinically relevant difference of 2 mm. A sample size of
Table 1 Study design and follow up visits
Visit 1 Visit 2 Visit 3 Visit 4 Visit 5 Visit 6
Recruitment Surgery Re-entry
D0 D10 W4 W13 W26
Fig. 2 Radiographic assessments. Images of the coronal planes
representing the most central aspect of the respective defect sites
were analyzed for the basal graft integration (i.e., contact between
the graft and the host bone in %) (BI26) and the cross-sectional
grafted area (mm
Parvini et al. International Journal of Implant Dentistry (2018) 4:31 Page 3 of 6
15 patients per group was calculated to achieve a 95%
power (Power and Precision, Biostat, Englewood, USA).
The statistical analysis of the pseudonymized data sets
was accomplished using a commercially available soft-
ware program (IBM SPSS Statistics 24.0, IBM Corp.,
Armonk, NY, USA).
Mean values, standard deviations, medians, 95% confi-
dence intervals (CI), and frequency distributions were calcu-
lated for all outcomes assessed. The data rows were
examined with the Shapiro-Wilk test for normal distribu-
tion. Between-group comparisons were accomplished using
the unpaired ttest. Linear regression analyses were used to
depict the relationship between BI26 and CWb as well as
SA26 values in both groups. The alpha error was set at 0.05.
Mean CWb and GT values were comparable in both
groups and amounted to 4.53 ± 1.54 mm (median
4.50; 95% CI 3.68, 5.38) and 5.66 ± 1.75 mm (median
5.0; 95% CI 4.69, 6.64) in the TR group and 5.26 ±
1.25 mm (median 5.00; 95% CI 4.57, 5.95) and 4.96 ±
1.75 mm (median 5.0; 95% CI 4.24, 5.68) in the AB
group, respectively. Between-group differences did not
reach statistical significance.
Radiographic performance endpoints
Mean SA26 values were 12.42 ± 10.11 mm
11.36; 95% CI 6.82, 18.02) in the AB group and
amounted to 22.07 ± 12.98 mm
(median 18.83; 95% CI
14.88, 29.26) at the TR-treated sites. The resulting differ-
ences between both groups were statistically significant
Mean BI26 values amounted to 79.67 ± 15.66% (me-
dian 78.85; 95% CI 70.99, 88.34) in the AB group and
tended to be lower at the TR-treated sites, revealing a
mean value of 69.26 ± 26.01% (median 72.44; 95% CI
53.85, 82.66) (Fig. 3). These differences, however, failed
to reach statistical significance (p= 0.157) (Table 2).
In both groups investigated, the linear regression ana-
lysis failed to reveal any significant correlations between
BI26 and CWb (TR: Coef. 1.106; R
= 0.003; p= 0.851;
AB: Coef. −0.410; R
= 0.002; p= 0.886) or BI26 and
SA26 (TR: Coef. 0.619; R
= 0.058; p= 0.387; AB: Coef.
= 0.066; p= 0.354) values, respectively (Fig. 4).
The present analysis aimed at assessing and comparing
CBCT outcomes following lateral alveolar ridge augmen-
tation using TR and AB grafts. After a healing period of
26 weeks, it was observed that TR grafts were associated
with significantly higher mean SA26 values when com-
pared with the AB group. A similar tendency was also
noted for mean BI26 values; however, this difference did
not reach statistical significance.
Fig. 3 Representative CBCT outcomes at 26 weeks. a,bTR graft. c,dAB graft
Parvini et al. International Journal of Implant Dentistry (2018) 4:31 Page 4 of 6
When interpreting these results, it must be kept in
mind that both groups were associated with comparable
CWb and GT values at baseline. However, the clinical
re-entry at 26 weeks revealed that mean CW values
amounted to 10.06 ± 1.85 mm (median 11.0; 95% CI
9.03, 11.09) in the TR group and 9.20 ± 2.09 mm (me-
dian 8.50; 95% CI 8.04, 10.35) in the AB group,
respectively. This was associated with a significantly
higher gain in ridge width of 5.53 ± 1.88 mm (median
5.00; 95% CI 4.48, 6.57) at TR- over the AB-treated sites
(3.93 ± 1.41 mm; median 4.00; 95% CI 3.15, 4.71) .
This difference was mainly due to a lower graft resorp-
tion in the TR group, which was basically confirmed
by the present analysis of SA26 values. Moreover, a
recent animal study employing both TR and AB grafts
for lateral alveolar ridge augmentation also corrobo-
rates, at least in part, the differences in mean SA26
values noted between both groups. In particular, after
12 weeks of healing, the histomorphometrical analysis
of the augmented area (AA) at the TR-treated sites
ranged between 7.55 and 11.20 mm
dian values ranged between 6.60 and 8.56 mm
AB-treated sites . Similar AA values were also
noted when assessing the efficacy of TR grafts that
were derived from the periodontally diseased teeth,
resulting in 11.01 ± 4.37 mm
as compared to 8.07 ±
However, previous clinical studies suggest that the re-
sorption of AB grafts may be limited by a simultaneous
contour augmentation (e.g., application of a bovine-derived
xenograft and coverage by a native collagen membrane)
[5,10]. In particular, CBCT analyses at 10 years re-
vealed only a minor superficial resorption of about
7.7%, which corresponded to 0.38 mm .
Table 2 Secondary performance endpoints (in mm)
CWb GT SA26 BI26
a) TR group (n= 15 patients)
Mean 4.53 5.66 22.07* 69.26
SD 1.54 1.75 12.98 26.01
Median 4.50 5.00 18.83 72.44
95% CI 3.68,
b) AB group (n= 15 patients)
Mean 5.26 4.96 12.42 79.67
SD 1.25 1.30 10.11 15.66
Median 5.00 5.00 11.36 78.85
95% CI 4.57,
6.82, 18.02 70.99,
Comparisons between the groups (unpaired ttest): *p= 0.031
CWb clinical width of the alveolar ridge immediately before augmentation (D0)
(mm), GT graft thickness immediately after augmentation (D0) (mm), SA26
surface area at 26 weeks (W26) (mm
), BI26 basal integration at 26 weeks
Fig. 4 Linear regression plots to depict the relationship between BI26 and CWb/SA26 values. aCWb (TR group). bCWb (AB group). cSA26
(TR group). dSA26 (AB group)
Parvini et al. International Journal of Implant Dentistry (2018) 4:31 Page 5 of 6
When further analyzing the present data, it was also
noted that both TR and AB grafts were associated with
comparable BI26 values, thus corroborating the clinical
observation of a firm graft connection to the host bone
at 26 weeks, which allowed for a proper placement of
adequately dimensioned titanium implants at all sites in-
vestigated . The regression analysis also revealed that
BI26 values were neither related to CWb nor SA26
values. These clinical and radiographic observations are
also supported by recent histological analyses pointing
to a basal ankylosis and replacement resorption of both
TR and AB grafts [4,6,7].
In conclusion and within its limitations, the present clin-
ical study revealed that TR grafts may be associated with
improved SA26 values following lateral alveolar ridge
The study was funded by a grant of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
(DFG), Bonn, Germany. The titanium implants were provided by the Institut
Straumann, AG, Basel, Switzerland.
Availability of data and materials
The availability of raw data used and/or analyzed during the current study is
limited/restricted by general data protection regulations.
FS, RS, and JB have made substantial contributions to the study conception,
acquisition, and interpretation of data as well as manuscript preparation.
PP and DS were involved in the data acquisition, data management, and
analysis as well as the statistical analysis. All authors read and approved the
Ethics approval and consent to participate
The study protocol was approved by the ethics committee (4837R) of the
Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany, and registered via the
Internet Portal of the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00009586). Each
patient was given a detailed description of the study procedures and signed
a consent to participate.
Consent for publication
Consent for publication was obtained from all participants.
Puria Parvini, Robert Sader, Didem Sahin, Jürgen Becker, and Frank Schwarz
declare that they have no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in
published maps and institutional affiliations.
Department of Oral Surgery and Implantology, Carolinum, Johann Wolfgang
Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany.
Department for Oral,
Cranio-Maxillofacial and Facial Plastic Surgery, Medical Center of the Goethe
University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.
Department of Oral Surgery,
Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Received: 11 July 2018 Accepted: 17 August 2018
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