To date, no studies have been published that evaluated histomorphometric data from a large number of patients while comparing different sites and methods of autologous bone grafting in sinus floor augmentation procedures. A meta-analysis of the English literature from January 1995 till April 2009 was carried out.PubMed search engine and the following journals were explored: Clinical Oral Implant Research, International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants, International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, and the Journal of Periodontology.Out of 147 titles, according to our criteria, 25 articles were left for analysis. The majority were prospective controlled studies (21) and 2 randomized clinical trials, 1 pilot study and 1 case series. A reference value of 47% for total bone volume (TBV) was found while using iliac bone grafting as a standard. Use of intraoral bone grafts increases the TBV, with 11% for chin bone and 14% for bone grafted from other intraoral sites. Particulation of the bone graft has a negative effect on the TBV of 18%. Surprisingly, no correlation between TBV and the time of graft healing was found. Histological section thickness seemed to be a significant variable, as every micron increase of section thickness leads to an increase of 0.4% of TBV.Bone grafting from the iliac crest resulted in a significantly lower TBV compared with intraoral bone grafting. However, due to the limited availability of intraoral bone to be harvested, iliac grafts still have to be considered the gold standard in augmenting the severely atrophic maxilla.