Photofunctionalized Dental Implants: A Case Series in Compromised Bone
Akiyoshi Funato, DDS/Takahiro Ogawa, DDS, PhD
Purpose: Ultraviolet (UV) light treatment of titanium, or photofunctionalization, has been shown to enhance its osteoconductivity in animal and in vitro studies, but its clinical performance has yet to be reported. This clinical case series sought to examine the effect of photofunctionalization on implant success, healing time, osseointegration speed, and peri-implant marginal bone level changes at 1 year after restoration. Materials and Methods: Four partially edentulous patients were included in the study. Seven implants with identical microroughened surfaces were photofunctionalized with UV light for 15 minutes. Osseointegration speed was calculated by measuring the increase in implant stability quotient (ISQ) per month. Marginal bone levels were evaluated radiographically at crown placement and at 1 year. Results: All implants placed into fresh extraction sockets, vertically augmented bone, simultaneously augmented sinuses, or the site of a failing implant remained functional and healthy at 1 year, even with an earlier loading protocol (2.1 to 4.5 months). ISQs of 48 to 75 at implant placement had increased to 68 to 81 at loading. In particular, implants with low primary stability (initial ISQ < 70) showed large increases in ISQ. The speed of osseointegration of photofunctionalized implants was considerably greater than that of as-received implants documented in the literature. Mean marginal bone levels were –0.35 ± 0.71 mm at crown placement and had significantly increased to 0.16 ± 0.53 mm at 1 year, with coronal gains in marginal bone level that surpassed the implant platform. No implants showed marginal bone loss. Conclusions: Within the limits of this study, photofunctionalization expedited and enhanced osseointegration of commercial dental implants in various clinically challenging/compromised bone conditions. Photofunctionalization resulted in preservation—and often a gain—of marginal bone level, and long-term large-scale clinical validation is warranted.