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J Periodontol. 2001 Oct;72(10):1364-71.

Clinical and radiographic evaluation of the papilla level adjacent to single-tooth dental implants. A retrospective study in the maxillary anterior region.

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Department of Implant Dentistry, University of Brussels, Faculty of Medicine, School of Dentistry, Oral Pathology and Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Clinique Universitaire de Bruxelles, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Erasme Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.



The regeneration of gingival papillae after single-implant treatment is an area of current investigation. This study was designed to determine: 1) whether the distance from the base of the contact point to the crest of the bone would correlate with the presence or absence of interproximal papillae adjacent to single-tooth implants, and 2) whether the surgical technique at uncovering influences the outcome.


A clinical and radiographic retrospective evaluation of the papilla level around single dental implants and their adjacent teeth was performed in the anterior maxilla in 26 patients restored with 27 implants. Six months after insertion, 17 implants were uncovered with a standard technique, while 10 implants were uncovered with a technique designed to generate papilla-like formation around dental implants. Fifty-two papillae were available for clinical and radiographic evaluation. The presence or absence of papillae was determined, and the effects of the following variables were analyzed: the influence of the 2 surgical techniques; the vertical relation between the papilla height and the crest of bone between the implant and adjacent teeth; the vertical relation between the papilla level and the contact point between the crowns of the teeth and the implant; and the distance from the contact point to the crest of bone.


When the measurement from the contact point to the crest of bone was 5 mm or less, the papilla was present almost 100% of the time. When the distance was > or = 6 mm, the papilla was present 50% of the time or less. The mean distance between the crest of bone and the most coronal papilla level (interproximal soft tissue height) was 3.85 mm (SD = 1.04). When comparing the conventional and modified surgical technique, the relation shifted from 3.77 mm (SD = 1.01) to 4.01 mm (SD = 1.10), respectively.


These results clearly show the influence of the bone crest on the presence or absence of papillae between implants and adjacent teeth. The data also show a positive influence for the modified surgical technique, aimed at reconstructing papillae at the implant uncovering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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