Soft tissue dimensional changes after alveolar ridge preservation using different sealing materials: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Luigi Canullo, Paolo Pesce, Donato Antonacci, Andrea Ravidà, Matthew Galli, Shahnawaz Khijmatgar, Grazia Tommasato, Anton Sculean, Massimo Del Fabbro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Alveolar ridge preservation (ARP) is a proactive treatment option aiming at attenuating post-extraction hard and soft tissue dimensional changes. A high number of different types of biomaterials have been utilized during ARP to seal the socket, but their effectiveness in terms of soft tissue outcomes has rarely been investigated and compared in the literature. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of different types of membranes and graft materials in terms of soft tissue outcomes (keratinized tissue width changes, vertical buccal height, and horizontal changes) after ARP, and to assign relative rankings based on their performance. Materials and methods: The manuscript represents the proceedings of a consensus conference of the Italian Society of Osseointegration (IAO). PUBMED (Medline), SCOPUS, Embase, and Cochrane Oral Health’s Information Specialist were utilized to conduct the search up to 06 April 2021. English language restrictions were placed and no limitations were set on publication date. Randomized controlled trials that report ARP procedures using different sealing materials, assessing soft tissue as a primary or secondary outcome, with at least 6-week follow‐up were included. Network meta-analysis (NMA) was performed using mean, standard deviation, sample size, bias, and follow-up duration for all included studies. Network geometry, contribution plots, inconsistency plots, predictive and confidence interval plots, SUCRA (surface under the cumulative ranking curve) rankings, and multidimensional (MDS) ranking plots were constructed. Results: A total of 11 studies were included for NMA. Overall, the level of bias for included studies was moderate. Crosslinked collagen membranes (SUCRA rank 81.8%) performed best in vertical buccal height (VBH), autogenous soft tissue grafts (SUCRA rank 89.1%) in horizontal width change (HWch), and control (SUCRA rank 85.8%) in keratinized mucosa thickness (KMT). Conclusions: NMA confirmed that the use of crosslinked collagen membranes and autogenous soft tissue grafts represented the best choices for sealing sockets during ARP in terms of minimizing post-extraction soft tissue dimensional shrinkage. Clinical relevance: Grafting materials demonstrated statistically significantly better performances in terms of soft tissue thickness and vertical buccal height changes, when covered with crosslinked collagen membranes. Instead, soft tissue grafts performed better in horizontal width changes. Non-crosslinked membranes and other materials or combinations presented slightly inferior outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-39
Number of pages27
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Alveolar ridge preservation
  • Collagen membrane
  • Collagen sponge
  • Crosslinked
  • Multidimensional scale
  • Network meta-analysis
  • Non-crosslinked
  • Predictive interval
  • Ranking
  • Soft tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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