Background: The aim of this study was to compare histologically the dimensional behavior of peri-implant tissues during osseointegration of immediately exposed or submerged implant placement in fresh extraction and healed sites.

Methods: Four fresh extraction and four delayed implant sites were placed in each hemimandible of five dogs at the bone crest level. In 2 implants of each side were installed a healing abutment (exposed) and two cover screw (submerged) and formed four groups: implant installed in fresh extraction submerged (group 1), implants in fresh extraction immediately exposed (group 2), implants installed in healed site submerged (group 3), and implants in healed site immediately exposed (group 4). After 12 weeks of healing period, histomorphometric analyses of the specimens were carried out to measure the crestal bone level values and the tissue thickness in the implant shoulder portion.

Results: The measure of crestal bone level showed some higher values for implants installed in fresh extraction sites in the buccal aspect: 1.88 ± 0.42 mm for group 1 and 2.33 ± 0.33 mm for group 2, with statistical significance among all four groups tested (P < 0.001). For peri-implant tissue thickness, a significative higher statistical difference
(P < 0.001) for implants installed in healed sites (groups 3 and 4) was found.

Conclusions: Within the limitations of the present animal study, our findings suggest that the implants placed in fresh extraction or healed site and with regards to the moment of exposition (immediately or no) are important factors to the amount of peri-implant tissues after remodeling over a period of 12 weeks. The null hypothesis was rejected.

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