Clinical Dimensions of the Supraosseous Gingivae in Healthy Periodontium

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Abstract

Background:

To estimate the amount of supraosseous gingivae (SOG), the soft tissue height from the bone crest to the free gingival margin, that will reform after crown-lengthening surgery, dental professionals have relied on a histologic mean dimension of 3 mm. This figure was derived from an autopsy study, and it represents the average of a significant range of values, from 0.0 to 6.5 mm. Other studies provided information on SOG dimensions; however, it seems that no clinical study in individuals without a history of periodontitis or attachment loss has been made that included all tooth types in the maxillary and mandibular arches. The main purpose of this investigation was to determine the clinical SOG dimensions around molar, premolar, canine, and incisor teeth in upper and lower jaws.

Methods:

In 23 patients without a history of periodontal disease, incisor and canine (zone 1), premolar (zone 2), and molar (zone 3) SOG dimensions were measured by transsulcular probing (TSP) after injecting local anesthetic. The reliability of TSP to determine the SOG dimensions was established before any measurements were taken.

Results:

Clinical overall (facial and palatal) maxillary SOG dimensions for zones 1, 2, and 3 were 3.66, 3.82, and 4.19 mm, respectively. Overall SOG measures for maxillary teeth varied by tooth type (P <0.001). Similarly, site-level SOG measures varied by tooth type (P <0.02), except for mesial-facial SOG measures of maxillary teeth (P = 0.051), which only approached significance. Clinical overall (facial and lingual) mandibular SOG dimensions for zones 1, 2, and 3 were 3.31, 3.62, and 3.89 mm, respectively. Overall SOG measures for mandibular teeth varied by tooth type (P <0.001). Similarly, site-level SOG measures varied by tooth type (P <0.03), except for mesial-facial and mid-facial SOG measures of mandibular teeth (P = 0.074 and P = 0.144, respectively).

Conclusion:

Clinical variation in SOG dimensions exists within patients for similar and different tooth types, arches, and surfaces. J Periodontol 2008;79:2267-2272.

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