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Volume 24 , Issue 1
January/February 2009

Pages 52–58

Collagen Fiber Orientation Around Machined Titanium and Zirconia Dental Implant Necks: An Animal Study

Stefano Tetè, MD, DDS/Filiberto Mastrangelo, MD, DDS/Andrea Bianchi, MD, DDS/Vincenzo Zizzari, DDS2/Antonio Scarano, MD, DD

PMID: 19344025

Purpose: To evaluate in vivo collagen fiber behavior around two different dental implant necks placed in the mandibular bone of adult pigs. Materials and Methods: Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) and profilometric analyses were performed on both types of implant necks to evaluate the different surface morphology. Ten dental implants with machined titanium necks and 20 implants with zirconia necks were inserted into the mandibles of five adult pigs. Three months later, the animals were sacrificed; samples from the peri-implant mucosa were obtained and prepared for histologic analysis. Evaluation of collagen fiber orientation in the connective tissue surrounding the implant necks was performed by polarized light microscopy. Inflammation in the peri-implant soft tissues was also measured via the Gingival Index. Results: Postoperative healing was uneventful; all implants, except for one of each type, were osseointegrated after 3 months. SEM and profilometric analyses confirmed that zirconia necks showed Ra, Rq, and Rz values that were lower than those seen around the titanium necks. Histologic observation indicated that collagen fiber orientation was similar for both types of implants. The majority of fibers showed a parallel or parallel-oblique orientation to the implant surface for all samples. Implants that were not osseointegrated, as determined by clinical evaluation, showed inflammatory infiltrate, whereas healthy connective tissue was found around all the other implant necks. Conclusions: Collagen fiber orientation was similar, regardless of implant material, demonstrating a predominantly parallel or parallel-oblique pattern. Moreover, zirconia, which is used as a transgingival collar on some implants, showed connective tissue adhesion that was similar to that seen on the machined titanium surface, but demonstrated limited plaque formation and may provide better esthetics. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2009;24:52–58 Key words: collagen fiber orientation, dental implants, machined titanium neck, zirconia neck

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