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Volume 32 , Issue 3
May/June 2017

Pages 599609

Implications of Wear at the Titanium-Zirconia Implant-Abutment Interface on the Health of Peri-implant Tissues

Andrew Tawse-Smith, DDS, Cert Periodontology/Sunyoung Ma, BDS, DClinDent/Warwick J Duncan, BDS, MDS, PhD/Andrew Gray, BA, BCom(Hons)/Malcolm R. Reid, BSc, PhD/Alison M. Rich, BDS, MDSc, PhD

PMID: 28170452
DOI: 10.11607/jomi.5014

Purpose: To investigate the presence of metallic particles in the peri-implant mucosa around titanium dental implants after 5 years of loading using single-implant crowns with respect to clinical signs of peri-implant inflammation. Materials and Methods: Sixteen participants from an ongoing, prospective, single-arm clinical trial who had received titanium dental implants restored with single maxillary crowns veneered to zirconia abutments were available for the study. Exfoliative cytology samples were obtained from the peri-implant tissues and contralateral tooth sites using microbrushes and were evaluated by means of light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Trace elemental analysis was also carried out on the microbrushes using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Peri-implant and periodontal parameters (plaque, bleeding, attachment level, radiographic bone levels) were recorded. Results: Titanium particles were found in both the single-implant crown and contralateral natural tooth sites. LM and EDS analyses showed significantly higher numbers of Ti particles at the implant-abutment interfaces (mean = 14.168; SD = 2.36) and in the internal aspects of peri-implant mucosa in contact with the prostheses (mean = 4.438; SD = 2.22) when compared with other test and control areas. Mean probing depths were ≤ 3 mm, and no differences were found in plaque or bleeding on probing between implant and tooth sites. Median bone levels were within the normal range for both implant (mesial: 0.5 mm; distal: 0.8 mm) and tooth (mesial: 1.5 mm; distal: 1.8 mm) sites. Conclusion: Loading of single-implant zirconia crowns can cause the release of Ti particles because of functional wear at the implant-abutment level. The presence of these metal particles in the peri-implant area did not appear to affect peri-implant health in this patient group.

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