Background It is unclear if an intact buccal bony plate is a prerequisite for immediate implant placement in post-extraction sockets. The aim of this 5-year randomized controlled trial was therefore comparison of peri-implant soft and hard tissue parameters, esthetic ratings, and patient-reported satisfaction of immediate implant placement in post-extraction sockets with buccal bony defects of >= 5 mm in the esthetic zone, with delayed implant placement after ridge preservation.
Methods Patients presenting a failing tooth in the esthetic region and a buccal bony defect of >= 5 mm after extraction were randomly assigned to immediate (Immediate group, n = 20) or delayed (Delayed group, n = 20) implant placement. Second-stage surgery and placement of a provisional restoration occurred 3 months after implant placement in both groups, followed by definitive restorations 3 months thereafter. The follow-up was 5 years. Marginal bone level (primary outcome), buccal bone thickness, soft tissue parameters, esthetics, and patient-reported satisfaction were recorded.
Results Mean marginal bone level change was -0.71 +/- 0.35 mm and -0.54 +/- 0.41 mm in respectively the Immediate group and the Delayed group after 5 years (P = 0.202). This difference, and in other variables, was not significant.
Conclusions Marginal bone level changes, buccal bone thickness, clinical outcomes, esthetics, and patients' satisfaction following immediate implant placement, in combination with bone augmentation in post-extraction sockets with buccal bony defects of >= 5 mm, were comparable to those following delayed implant placement after ridge preservation in the esthetic zone.