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Volume 28 , Issue 1
January/February 2013

Pages 68–76

Determination of the Dynamics of Healing at the Tissue-Implant Interface by Means of Microcomputed Tomography and Functional Apparent Moduli

Po-Chun Chang, DDS, PhD/Yang-Jo Seol, DDS, PhD/Steven A. Goldstein, PhD/William V. Giannobile, DDS, DMSc

PMID: 23377049
DOI: 10.11607/jomi.2614

Purpose: It is currently a challenge to determine the biomechanical properties of the hard tissue–dental implant interface. Recent advances in intraoral imaging and tomographic methods, such as microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), provide three-dimensional details, offering significant potential to evaluate the boneimplant interface, but yield limited information regarding osseointegration because of physical scattering effects emanating from metallic implant surfaces. In the present study, it was hypothesized that functional apparent moduli (FAM), generated from functional incorporation of the peri-implant structure, would eliminate the radiographic artifact–affected layer and serve as a feasible means to evaluate the biomechanical dynamics of tissue-implant integration in vivo. Materials and Methods: Cylindric titanium mini-implants were placed in osteotomies and osteotomies with defects in rodent maxillae. The layers affected by radiographic artifacts were identified, and the pattern of tissue-implant integration was evaluated from histology and micro-CT images over a 21-day observation period. Analyses of structural information, FAM, and the relationship between FAM and interfacial stiffness (IS) were done before and after eliminating artifacts. Results: Physical artifacts were present within a zone of about 100 to 150 μm around the implant in both experimental defect situations (osteotomy alone and osteotomy + defect). All correlations were evaluated before and after eliminating the artifact-affected layers, most notably during the maturation period of osseointegration. A strong correlation existed between functional bone apparent modulus and IS within 300 μm at the osteotomy defects (r > 0.9) and functional composite tissue apparent modulus in the osteotomy defects (r > 0.75). Conclusion: Micro-CT imaging and FAM were of value in measuring the temporal process of tissue-implant integration in vivo. This approach will be useful to complement imaging technologies for longitudinal monitoring of osseointegration. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2013;28:68–76. doi: 10.11607/jomi.2614

Key words: biomechanics, dental implants, finite element analysis, microcomputed tomography

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