The effect of ultrasound on bone dimensional changes following extraction: A pilot study

Eric N. Kerr, Brian L. Mealey, Marcel E. Noujeim, David J. Lasho, Pirkka V. Nummikoski, James T. Mellonig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Because of bone resorption following tooth extraction, preservation of adequate bony dimension is performed often for subsequent treatment with dental implants. This study evaluated a novel, non-invasive treatment using ultrasound to accelerate healing following extraction to minimize alveolar bone loss. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of ultrasound on the dimensional healing changes of alveolar bone following tooth extraction using cone-beam volumetric tomography (CBVT). Methods: This randomized, split-mouth trial involved 12 subjects requiring extraction of two contralateral erupted permanent teeth. Baseline CBVT scans were captured 7 to 10 days following extraction, after which time ultrasound therapy commenced in test sites. Ultrasound therapy was delivered for 20 minutes using a piezoelectric transducer for 10 sessions over the subsequent 4 weeks. Follow-up radiographic scans were obtained at 4 weeks and 3 months postextraction. Analyses of variance and covariance were performed to assess dimensional changes over the 3-month healing period. Results: Analysis of dimensional changes in all measures of vertical height and horizontal width demonstrated no statistically significant differences between the ultrasound and control groups from baseline to 3 months postextraction. Evaluation of correlations between dimensional changes demonstrated a moderately strong correlation (r = 0.67; P = 0.023) in the ultrasound group between the change in buccal vertical height and the baseline crestal ridge width. Analysis of the change in buccal vertical height relative to baseline crestal width demonstrated a statistically significant benefit to ultrasound compared to control (P= 0.016). This benefit was more pronounced in wider sockets compared to narrow sockets. Conclusions: In this pilot study, there was no significant benefit to ultrasound in absolute bony dimensional changes following tooth extraction. There was a significant interaction between the treatment rendered (ultrasound versus control) and the change in buccal ridge height relative to baseline ridge width at the crest and 3 mm apical to the crest. This benefit was apparent in wide sockets compared to narrow sockets; however, the clinical importance of these relative dimensional changes in the ultra-sound group are difficult to determine given the inclusion of all tooth types in a pilot study with a small sample size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008


  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Tooth extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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