PERIO - Periodontal Practice Today
PERIO - Periodontal Practice Today 5 (2008), No. 4     4. June 2009
PERIO - Periodontal Practice Today 5 (2008), No. 2  (12.09.2008)

Page 117-120


Effect of the distance from the contact point to the crestal bone on the degree of vertical loss of interdental papillae
Ferreira-Lopes, Manuela Wanderley / Gusmao, Estela Santos / Alves, Renato de Vasconcelos / Rösing, Cassiano Kuchenbecker / Cimoes, Renata
Background: The loss of the interdental papilla is one of the adverse events that can occur after periodontal therapy. It can cause food impaction, aesthetic deformities and phonetic problems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the distance from the contact point to the crestal bone on the degree of vertical loss of interdental papillae.
Study design: A total of 125 interproximal sites from 26 patients were examined. Prior to transperiodontal bone probing, the class of the interdental papilla was determined based on the classification system developed by Nordland and Tarnow1. The distance from the contact point to the crestal bone was measured by probing under local anaesthesia.
Results: The results revealed that when the distance from the contact point to the crestal bone was <= 5 mm, in 98.4% of the cases the papilla did not shrink. When the distance was >= 7 mm, 100% of papilla shrinkage was classified as class III. A significant association (Fisher exact test, P < 0.001) was observed between the degree of loss of interdental papilla and the distance from the contact point to the bone crest.
Conclusion: The distance of the base of the contact point to the coronal portion of the bone crest measured by bone probing is highly associated with the degree of the vertical loss of the interdental papilla.

Keywords: contact point, interdental papilla, periodontology