AIM To assess (i) bone regeneration around implants placed early in sites with or without ridge preservation and (ii) if the bone substitute material (DBBM-C) has to be removed at implant placement. MATERIALS AND METHODS In eight beagle dogs, three sites were randomly assigned to ridge preservation (DBBM-C plus collagen matrix (CMX)) (two sites; RP) or spontaneous healing (1 site; SH). Four weeks later, in one of the RP sites, dental implants were placed without removing the DBBM-C (RP1), whereas in RP2 and SH sites all non-integrated DBBM-C and/or granulation tissue were removed before implant placement and concomitant GBR. Histomorphometric outcomes were assessed at 4 and 12 weeks. RESULTS The median buccal fBIC (first bone-to-implant contact) was located more apical in groups RP1: 1.34 mm (0.09; 2.96) and RP2: 1.41 mm (0.54; 2.72) than in group SH: 0.79 mm (0.26; 1.50) (p = 0.452) at 4 weeks. At 12 weeks, median buccal fBIC values were for RP1: 0.88 mm (0.00; 2.33), for RP2: 0.16 mm (0.00; 1.33) and for SH: 0.00 mm (0.00; 0.98) (p = 0.362). BIC values increased over 12 weeks in all groups. CONCLUSIONS Ridge preservation followed by early implant placement led to higher BIC values at 12 than at 4 weeks. There is no need to remove the biomaterial at implant placement to ensure osseointegration. No relevant differences were observed between the three groups for any outcome measure.