AIM: The aim of this pilot study was to analyze the interfurcal bone height in relation to the possible need for subsequent sinus floor elevation in patients with advanced periodontitis and furcation involvement of first and/or second maxillary molars.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Seventeen dentate patients, who received cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for detailed preoperative diagnosis and planning of surgical interventions at periodontally involved maxillary molars (17 first and 15 second molars), were consecutively recruited for the study. The minimal bone height in the interfurcal region was measured from CBCT and related to furcation involvement, residual bone above the root tips, and the clinical probing pocket depth (PPD).
RESULTS: The minimal interfurcal bone height measured 4.1 ± 2.6 mm on average with 75% of maxillary molars having ≤ 6 mm and almost 60% having only ≤ 4 mm bone height left below the sinus floor. A higher risk for reduced interfurcal bone height of ≤ 4 mm was given when residual PPD of ≥ 6 mm was remaining at two or more tooth sites (OR 0.10; 0.11).
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of periodontally involved maxillary molars had a substantially reduced interfurcal bone height, particularly with at least two sites with residual PPD ≥ 6 mm. This was a predictor for a subsequent need for sinus floor elevation when tooth replacement with a dental implant is desired.