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Volume 23 , Issue 3
May/June 2008

Pages 457–462

A Light and Scanning Electron Microscopy Study of Bone Healing Following Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization: An Experimental Study in Rabbits

Marcelo Yoshimoto/Bruno König Jr/Paulo G. Coelho/Sérgio Allegrini Jr/Fábio Franceschini Mitri Luiz

PMID: 18700368

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bone healing kinetics around commercially pure titanium implants following inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) lateralization in a rabbit model. Materials and Methods: Inferior alveolar nerve lateralization was performed in 16 adult female rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). During the nerve lateralization procedure, 1 implant was placed through the mandibular canal, and the IAN was replaced in direct contact with the implant. During the 8-week healing period, various bone labels were administered for fluorescent microscopy analysis. The animals were euthanized by anesthesia overdose, and the mandibular blocks were exposed by sharp dissection. Nondecalcified samples were prepared for optical light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) evaluation. Results: SEM evaluation showed bone modeling/remodeling between the IAN and implant surface. Fluorochrome area fraction labeling at different times during the healing period showed that bone apposition mainly occurred during the first 2 weeks after implantation. Conclusions: The results obtained showed that bone healing/deposition occurred between the alveolar nerves in contact with a commercially pure titanium implant. No interaction between the nerve and the implant was detected after the 8-week healing period. Appositional bone healing occurred around the nerve bundle structure, restoring the mandibular canal integrity and morphology. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2008;23:457–462

Key words: bone healing, dental implants, inferior alveolar nerve lateralization, light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, titanium

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