PURPOSE To evaluate the efficacy of grafting materials in lateral and vertical ridge augmentations. MATERIALS AND METHODS A systematic review of the literature on the clinical use of grafting materials of the years 1995 to April 2015 was conducted using electronic search of PubMed and Cochrane libraries and hand search of eight print journals. A total of 184 papers were included, comprising 6182 patients. Parameters evaluated were observation period [months], bone formation [histologic area%], defect fill [%], horizontal and vertical gain [mm], loss of augmented volume [mm], complication rate [%], and implant survival rate [%]. Results are expressed as weighted means ± SD. RESULTS Results were obtained after a weighted mean observation period of 27.4 months (range 3-168 months). Bone formation in the augmented areas varied from 33.2 ± 14.9% for allogeneic grafts to 56.0 ± 25.6% for mixtures of autogenous and other grafting materials. Defect fill in dehiscence defects ranged from 51.0 ± 13.6% (synthetic) to 85.8 ± 13.4% (xenogeneic) for the different materials, with an overall weighted mean of 79.8 ± 18.7%. Weighted mean horizontal gain for all particulate grafting materials was 3.7 ± 1.2 mm, with variation between 2.2 ± 1.2 mm (synthetic) and 4.5 ± 1.0 mm (mixtures of autogenous bone with allogeneic/xenogeneic grafting material) without statistical significance. Weighted overall mean vertical gain was 3.7 ± 1.4 mm. Vertical gain was substantially higher when space-making barrier materials such as titanium meshes were used; however this was also associated with strong increase in complication rate. Block grafts achieved higher horizontal gain by approximately 1 mm. The use of block grafts achieved significantly increased vertical gain compared to particulate material only when autogenous block grafts from extraoral donor sites were used. CONCLUSION Horizontal and vertical gain by 3.7 mm on average can be achieved using particulate materials. This can be increased by using titanium meshes. Substantial vertical gains beyond this dimension require the use of extraoral bone block grafts.