Background: To assess the soft tissue dimension following tooth extraction and alveolar ridge preservation in the posterior maxilla compared to spontaneous healing. Methods: Thirty-five patients randomly assigned to alveolar ridge preservation (ARP) and spontaneous healing (SH) after maxillary molar extraction. The crestal, buccal, and palatal gingival thickness at 6 months was measured around virtually placed implant fixtures using superimposed cone-beam computed tomography and intraoral scan taken at 6 months. Buccal mucogingival junction (MGJ) level change over 6 months was estimated using intraoral scans obtained at suture-removal and 6 months. Results: The crestal gingiva was significantly thinner in group ARP (−1.16 mm) compared to group SH (p < 0.05). The buccal and palatal gingiva was significantly thinner at the implant shoulder (IS) level in group ARP (buccal: −0.75 mm; palatal: −0.85 mm) compared to group SH (p < 0.05). The thickness at 2 mm below the IS of both sides and the buccal MGJ level change were similar in both groups (p > 0.05). Conclusions: ARP in the posterior maxilla resulted in a thinner soft tissue on top of and at the prospective level of the implant shoulder at 6 months. The buccal MGJ level changed minimal for 6 months in both groups.
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