Orthodontic Tooth Movement Enhances Bone Healing of Surgical Bony Defects in Rats

Alexander D. Vardimon*, Carlos E. Nemcovsky, Eleni Dre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The question of whether the repair of an alveolar bony defect can be enhanced by orthodontic tooth movement was addressed. Methods: Alveolar bone defects were created in 52 Wistar male rats anterior to both maxillary first molars. After 1 week of healing, orthodontic protraction was applied for 2 weeks on the right side, resulting in mesial tipping and displacement movement. Subsequently, a retention appliance was inserted for 1 week. The left side served as the untreated (control) group. Vital bone staining (procion brilliant red H-8) was administered before and after orthodontic traction. Histomorphometric analysis was performed on 62 hemimaxillae using UV confocal microscopy and an imaging program. The total area of the bony defect was divided into 4 equal quadrants, and the area of bony apposition in each quadrant was measured. Results: The total area of bony apposition was 6.5-fold larger in the treated (26.41 x 104 ± 28.92 x 104 μm2) than in the control group (4.07 x 104 ± 2.82 x 104 μm2), approaching statistical significance (P = 0.065). The treated occlusal quadrants demonstrated highly significant (P = 0.010), greater bone apposition compared to the control group (13.8-fold) and to the treated apical quadrants (P = 0.04, 5-fold). Conclusions: This study confirms that orthodontic tooth movement is a stimulating factor of bone apposition. A conversion in the repair pattern of the bony defect from apico-occlusal in the control group (no tooth movement) to occluso-apical in the treated group (with tooth movement) further supports the linkage between tooth movement and enhanced bone deposition. Clinical implication suggests incorporation of orthodontic tooth movement in regenerative therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-864
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2001


  • Alveolar bone loss/therapy
  • Animal studies
  • Corrective
  • Orthodontics
  • Tooth movement


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