To reposition the jaw on the vertical axis it is necessary to have reference points from which measurements are taken to mobilize the maxilla as planned. These data points are grouped into two broad categories: internal and external reference points. The aim of this study is to review the literature on vertical maxillary replacement, reviewing both internal and external reference methods as well as comparing them over time. This study includes a review of articles from March 1985 to March of 2010, using the PubMed, Ebsco, ScienceDirect and Wiley InterScience databases. The results show a better clinical predictability using external methods compared to internal methods, obtaining results greater than 2 mm using internal references, and below 2 mm when using external references. We conclude that the most reliable method for vertical maxillary replacement is the external reference method until new devised methods ensure greater predictability.
(Rev Esp Ortod. 2011;41(3):148-151)