Background: In order to verify the results of interdental papilla regeneration, various methods of measuring the length of the papilla have been introduced. Invasive methods, such as bone probing under local anesthesia, might cause discomfort to the patients and possibly damage the delicate gingival unit. The purpose of the present study was to validate a method of measuring the length of the interdental papilla non-invasively, using radiopaque material and a periapical radiograph. Methods: This study involved 142 interproximal papillae in 40 patients with chronic periodontitis. The distance between the radiopaque material and most coronal portion of the crestal bone was measured (radiographic length of papilla, RL). Bone probing at the interdental papilla was performed after local anesthesia (bone probing length, BPL). After flap elevation, the actual length of the papilla was measured (actual length of papilla, AL). A correlation analysis was performed between AL-RL and AL-BPL using Pearson's correlation coefficients. Results: The correlation between AL-RL and AL-BPL was 0.903 and 0.931, respectively, both of which showed significance at the 0.01 level. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the non-invasive method using a radiopaque material and periapical radiograph could be utilized to measure the length of the interdental papilla.
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