INTRODUCTION : Insufficient information exists on comparing radiological differences in bone density of the regeneration
rate in the alveolar bone of the maxilla and mandible following the creation of similar defects in both.
METHODS : Alveolar bone defects were created from five healthy Chacma baboons. Standardized x-ray images
were acquired over time and the densities of the selected defect areas were measured pre-operatively, directly
post-operatively and at three- and six weeks post-operatively. Differences in densities were statistically tested
RESULTS : The maxilla was significantly more radiologically dense (p = 0.026) than the mandible pre- operatively.
No differences were obtained between the maxilla and mandible directly postoperatively and three- and six weeks
post-operatively respectively; i.e. densities were not significantly different at the different time points after the defects
had been created (three weeks: t = 1.08, p = 0.30; six weeks: t = 1.35, p = 0.19; three to six weeks: t = 1.20, p =0.25).
The increase in density in the mandible was 106% (8.9±7.6%/time versus 4.3 ± 2.7%/time) over three weeks, 28%
(15.0 ± 8.1%/time versus 11.7 ± 8.0%/time) over six weeks and 56% (12.5 ± 9.7%/time versus 8.0 ± 6.9%/time) over
three-to-six weeks and was higher than in the maxilla over the same intervals.
CONCLUSIONS : Radiological examination with its standardized gray-scale analysis can be used to determine the difference
in bone density of the maxilla and mandible. Although not statistically significant, the mandible healed at a faster
rate than the maxilla, especially observed during the first three weeks after the defects were created.