Background: The characteristics of the periodontium in anterior teeth influence the outcomes and prognosis of different periodontal, implant, and restorative procedures. In the present study, CBCT images were used to determine alveolar bone thickness and, to a lesser extent, gingival thickness. The aim was to evaluate the use of CBCT to measure the dentogingival complex in the anterior maxilla.
Materials and methods: CBCT scans from 25 healthy patients were taken and the maxillary anterior teeth (n = 138) analyzed in the radial plane. The study provided descriptive data on gingival thickness, alveolar bone thickness (horizontal measurements), and vertical measurements related to biologic width.
Results: The mean distance from gingival margin to bone crest (BC) was 3.4 ± 0.7 mm, and that between the cementoenamel junction and BC was 2.6 ± 1.0 mm. The average mid-labial gingival thickness 1 mm apical of the gingival margin was 1.0 ± 0.3 mm; a thinner gingiva was observed in females (P = 0.01) and canines (P < 0.001). The average crestal labial bone thickness was 0.8 ± 0.3 mm. In total, 62% of the tooth sites had a thin gingiva (< 1 mm), and 72% had thin labial bone plates; a moderate positive correlation was found between these parameters (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: CBCT was effective in providing data on the thickness of the labial plate and gingiva as well as on the relationship among BC, CEJ, and gingival margin. The majority of tooth sites had thin labial bone and thin gingiva, with thinner gingiva observed in females and at canine sites.