Micro-CT analysis of alveolar bone healing using a rat experimental model of critical-size defects

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OBJECTIVE:This study was designed to establish a rat model of a critical size alveolar bone defect.MATERIALS AND METHODS:Standardized buccal or mesiobuccal alveolar bone defects were made around the right first mandibular molar of 12-week-old rats, and the left was used as a control. Alveolar bone healing was examined quantitatively by three-dimensional micro-computed tomographic imaging. Bone matrix production of osteoblasts and osteocytes during repair of alveolar bone defects was examined with in situ hybridization for type I collagen.RESULTS:Buccal defects were repaired significantly and the volume decreased by 88.3% in week 24, whereas mesiobuccal defects were repaired little. Osteoblasts and osteocytes expressed type I collagen in both defects in week 3 but showed little expression by week 6 and thereafter, leaving the mesiobuccal defects largely unrepaired.CONCLUSION:The mesiobuccal defect is a critical-size defect that is not ultimately repaired with bone. It may be an appropriate experimental model for investigating the effectiveness of bone regenerative agents in human alveolar bone loss.Oral Diseases (2009) 15, 273–280

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