papillae Papillae have been an intense area of focus of dental researchers for decades. Black triangles create fear in restorative dentists because most of us have not been taught why periodontium reacts the way it does. Understanding the biology and applying the principles discovered by research regarding the papillae can make working in the esthetic zone much more predictable and successful. So what do we know about papillae?

Papillae are very much like a coiled spring; when compressed it will bounce back and if it's stretched, it goes back down. However, if we move papillae it will regenerate back. How far back? It really depends on the patient. What we do know is the regeneration will recreate biologic width and produce a volume of tissue that is coronal to the attachment. We can ultimately determine how tall the papillae will get by measuring the embrasure that balloon of fluid grows into.

Van-der-Velden-U conducted a study, Regeneration of the Interdental Soft Tissue Following Denudation Procedures, on posterior teeth to evaluate how much papillae regenerates on the average human. This study revealed that papillae consistently grow back at 4-4.5mm above bone and develop a 2-2.5mm sulcus depth.