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Clin Oral Implants Res. 2009 Sep;20 Suppl 4:134-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2009.01782.x.

Critical horizontal dimensions of interproximal and buccal bone around implants for optimal aesthetic outcomes: a systematic review.

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  • 1Catholic University Leuven, Department of Periodontology, Leuven, Belgium.



This systematic review was initiated to explore the critical horizontal interproximal and buccal bone dimensions around implants for an optimal aesthetic outcome.


Pubmed, the Cochrane and the ISI web of Science databases were searched to identify eligible human studies that reflect on the aesthetic outcome of implants in relation to the thickness of the buccal bone after osteotomy preparation, and in relation to the tooth-to-implant or interimplant distance. Vertical bone dimensions were not considered.


Articles relating horizontal buccal bone dimensions to aesthetic outcome could not be retrieved. The relation between horizontal buccal bone dimensions and vertical bone resorption could also not be confirmed. In relation to horizontal interproximal bone dimensions, some uniformity was detected among the limited number of articles.


Interproximally, a 3 mm interelement distance seems to result more frequently in an adequate papillary fill. In the bucco-oral direction, there is insufficient evidence to set a threshold for minimal buccal bone thickness to ensure an optimal aesthetic outcome. Many additional factors appear to be of importance and interact with each other.

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