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Volume 20 , Issue 5
September/October 2005

Pages 732737

In Vitro Evaluation of the Implant-Abutment Bacterial Seal: The Locking Taper System

Serge Dibart, DMD/Martha Warbington, MS/Ming Fan Su, DMD MS/Ziedonis Skobe, PhD

PMID: 16274147

Purpose: To test in vitro whether the seal provided by the locking taper used in the implant-abutment connection was capable of preventing the invasion of oral microorganisms. Materials and Methods: Twenty-five wide-body implants (5 3 11 mm) and 25 abutments were divided into 2 groups for a 2-phase experiment. The first phase tested the ability of the seal to shield the implant well from outside bacteria; the second phase tested the ability of the seal to prevent bacteria present in the implant well from seeping out. For phase 1, 10 implant-abutment units were immersed in a bacterial broth for 24 hours. The abutments were then separated from the implants and bacterial presence was evaluated using scanning electron microscopy. In phase 2, the tested abutments were inoculated with a droplet of soft agar bacterial gel and assembled with the implant. These units were incubated in a sterile nutrient broth for 72 hours, sampled, and plated to assess bacterial presence. Results: In phase 1, no bacteria were detected in any of the implant wells. In phase 2, no bacteria were detected in the nutrient broth or on the agar plates at 72 hours. Discussion: In implants where a microgap is present, microbial leakage could lead to inflammation and bone loss; thus, it is important to minimize bacterial presence in and around the the implant-abutment junction. Conclusion: The seal provided by the locking taper design has been demonstrated to be hermetic with regard to bacterial invasion in vitro. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2005;20:732737
Key words: bacterial seal, implant-abutment connection

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