Five patients showing horizontal mandibular ridge defects participated in this study. A ridge augmentation was performed through an onlay apposition of equine bone covered by a titanium-reinforced membrane. After 6 months of healing, five bone cores from nonaugmented sites (control) and five from augmented sites (test) were retrieved.
In test sites, no postoperative complications occurred. Horizontal bone width increased from 24 to 37 mm. In control sites, the newly formed bone represented 33%, and in test sites, 35% of the total area. Both groups showed a high intensity of vascular endothelial growth factor expression in the newly formed bone, while a low intensity was found in the mature bone.
Equine bone appeared to be biocompatible and to be associated with new vessel ingrowth. Within the limits of the small sample size, the present study indicated that equine bone could be used in mandibular ridge augmentations.