There is a lack of information in comparing the healing rate between the left and right sides of
the maxilla and mandible. Osteogenesis of alveolar bone was evaluated with digital radiology
by comparing differences in bone density (BD) at different time points within the left and right
maxilla and mandible. Alveolar bone defects were created in five healthy Chacma baboons.
Standardised x-ray images were acquired over time and the densities of the selected trauma
areas were measured pre-operatively, post-operatively and at 3 and 6 weeks post-operatively.
Differences in densities were statistically tested. There was no significant difference when the
grey scale averages of the combined first and fourth quadrants (right side) and combined
second and third quadrants (left side) were compared pre-operatively (t = 0.70), immediately
post-operatively (t = 0.34), 3 weeks post-operatively (t = 0.40) and 6 weeks post-operatively
(t = 0.66). There was also no significant difference between the values for the first and second
quadrants (maxilla) pre-operatively (t = 0.37), immediately post-operatively (t = 0.30), 3 weeks
post-operatively (t = 0.30) and 6 weeks post-operatively (t = 0.38); the third and fourth
quadrants (mandible) were also not significantly different pre-operatively (t = 0.29),
immediately post-operatively (t = 0.69), 3 weeks post-operatively (t = 0.07) and 6 weeks postoperatively
(t = 0.06). However, the results showed an increased predisposition of the right
side to regenerate faster than the left side and indicated sufficient information to investigate
the effect of laterality and preferred side of mastication on the rate of healing and alveolar BD
in the maxilla and mandible.