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Alveolar ridge reconstruction in the management of compromised extraction sockets

*Please note, this project is self-funded*

Project details

First Supervisor: Dr Emily Lu

Second Supervisor: Prof Michael Fenlon

Duration: Three years

Mode of study: Full-time

Funding: Self-funded

Eligibility: Home/EU, overseas

Expected start date: February 2023

Application deadline: Open until suitable candidate is found

Reference number: 2022/DOCS/08

Project description

Periodontitis patients presenting with compromised extraction sockets pose a series of unique surgical and restorative challenges. In such cases, unassisted healing following a flapless extraction will result in insufficient bone for implant placement, significant gingival recession and midfacial collapse leading to mucogingival deformities and an aesthetic compromise. Ridge reconstruction procedures are designed to augment the height and width of the ridge, allowing for ideal placement of an implant in the prosthetically driven position, with an improved emergence profile and optimal aesthetic outcome. Ridge reconstruction techniques typically involve socket grafting using materials such as autogenous bone, allograft, xenograft or allograft materials, and the placement of a barrier membrane for space maintenance to prevent unwanted apical migration of the epithelium into the wound.  

Due to the high prevalence of periodontitis in the UK, we expect a high prevalence of compromised extraction sockets within the NHS. However, the literature is scanty with regards to evidence-based protocols for the management of extraction sockets. The PhD study will contribute to the literature by prospectively examining the efficacies of post-extraction ridge reconstruction protocols of compromised extraction sockets with bony wall dehiscences. 

To this end, the PhD aims are:

1) To compare the effect of two different ridge reconstruction techniques on hard and soft tissue dimensions and patient reported outcome measures (PROMS)

2) To assess the relationship between linear and volumetric bone changes and magnitude of initial bone sounding

3) To compare the final soft tissue contour achieved after ridge reconstruction with that determined by the initial diagnostic wax-up

4) To compare the histomorphometric analyses of bone core biopsy samples obtained from alveolar ridges following different reconstruction techniques.

The longitudinal randomised controlled trial will be conducted in a single site at Guy’s Dental Hospital, the largest dental hospital in the UK and Europe. The diversity and high number of patient referrals to this centre offers the ideal patient base for selection into the study.


Research Training:

  • The candidate will develop skills in the interpretation of cone beam CT images, analysis of intraoral scans, data analysis using statistical packages such as SPSS and R.
  • The candidate will be trained on “Good Clinical Practice for Research for carrying out non-CTIMP studies” and “Human Tissue Act & Consent training” by attending courses provided by KCL and King’s Health Partners, enabling them to collect samples from study participants from Periodontics and Prosthodontics Department of Guy’s Hospital.
  • The candidate will also learn a range of immunohistochemical methods and imaging techniques.
  • This research training will enhance the Scientific writing and presentation skills. During the PhD, the candidate will also have access to enrol for numerous course available for development of post graduate students.

 Person specification:

  • Dentist
  • Research commitment

To view entry requirements and further course information, see the Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD

Next steps

Please apply online at following these steps:

  1. Register a new account/login

  2. Once logged in, select Create a new application

  3. Enter ‘Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time)/(Part-time)' under Choose a programme. Please ensure you select the correct mode of study

  4. Select  start date

  5. Please note: Applicants must include the project reference number (2022/DOCS/08) in the 'Research proposal' and 'Funding (point 5)' sections of the application.

Applications must be received by the deadline specified in this listing.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss projects with the first supervisor prior to submitting an application. 


Contact for further information

Dr Emily Lu, email:

Related centre: 

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