Periohistology Introduction

Histology of the Periodontium


This course is designed to serve either as an introduction to the structural biology of the periodontium, or as a means of reviewing this material, after having attended a more comprehensive course. It is not meant to replace traditional textbooks of oral histology, but rather to present additional illustrative material to supplement and clarify the textbook content. To facilitate its use the course is laid out like a book, with pages that can be flipped forward or backward at the click of a button. 
The contents are designed so that the various sections can be covered sequentially or as separate units.  However, sequential coverage is recommended, as reference to previous sections is made from time to time. The course is divided into 4 major subdivisions, each devoted to one of the major tissues of the periodontium.  References have been chosen to emphasize textbook chapters and reviews, rather than original research publications.
The course is presented in a format that emphasizes pictorial information, with text used primarily to help understand the image content.  Most of the images are original, having been produced by the author or his collaborators. However, I have borrowed some illustrations from other sources, that I have acknowledged, whenever the source was known to me. Unfortunately, I was unable to recall the source of a few illustrations that I have used in this course. I have made a note to that effect in the description of these figures and am prepared to add appropriate credits, as soon as the original source is identified. 
One of the advantages of on-line courses such as this one is that, unlike textbooks, updating can be readily done. This allows the author to rapidly correct errors, remove outdated material and add new information. Furthermore, by consulting the footer at the bottom of each page, the time of the last update is easily verified.  It also permits individual participants to get some direct feedback from the author using e-mail.
Most of the thumbnail illustrations throughout the text are hyperlinked to a larger image. The large image includes  legends for the various labels in the illustrations, since not all the labels are explained in the text itself.  Similarly, hyperlinks in the text link some words in the text to a glossary that provides a definition and/or explanation for the marked word.  Also, abbreviated references to the literature that appear in the text are hyperlinked to a reference list that contains the complete references. 
Note: To return from the Glossary or the References to the main text, use the "back to text" link.
This course should prove useful to dental students reviewing this subject for examinations,  for non-dentists wishing to be introduced to periodontal histology, and for anyone with a dental background looking for a quick review of the biological structure of the periodontium.
Comments and suggestions can be sent directly to the author at
I would like to thank all of the following for their significant help with this project:
Dr. Heiko Spallek, for the precious time and specialized knowledge he devoted to helping me with all the technical aspects of this enterprise. Without his assistance this project would not have been possible,
Dr. Titus Schleyer, who agreed to host me in the Department of Informatics at Temple during my 6-month sabbatical leave from Penn, and his valuable suggestions to improve the quality of the course,
Dr. Thomas Rams, for taking care of my creature comforts at Temple (office, phone, parking) and making me feel welcome in the Department of Periodontics,
Dr. James Deschner, for his valuable critical comments as an outside reviewer, and the various individuals who contributed illustrations to this project and whose names and/or work are acknowledged in the image legends.
Finally, I would like to thank those anonymous contributors whose illustrations I have used, but could not trace to a particular source.  Let me know who you are and I will promptly correct this grievous omission.



University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, The Ohio State UniversityUniversity of PittsburghUniversity of Sydney University of Bonn © 1999. All rights reserved
Created: 05/08/1999  Revised: 05/17/2016
Author: Max A. Listgarten
Online Manager: James Deschner
(Translation: James Deschner, University of Bonn)
(Technical Support: University of SydneyHeiko Spallek)