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Volume 25 , Issue 6
November/December 2010

Pages 1159–1167

Osseoperception: Active Tactile Sensibility of Osseointegrated Dental Implants

Norbert Enkling, Dr, Dr Med Dent/Karl-Heinz Utz, Prof Dr Med Dent/Stefan Bayer, Dr Med Dent/Regina Mericske-Stern, Prof Dr Med Dent

PMID: 21197493

Purpose: The phenomenon of developing a certain tactile sensibility through osseointegrated dental implants is called osseoperception. Active tactile sensibility can be tested by having the subject bite on test bodies. The aim of the study was to describe the active tactile sensibility of single-tooth implants based on the 50% value and the slope of the sensibility curve at the 50% value. Materials and Methods: Sixty-two subjects with single-tooth implants with natural opposing teeth were included in the study. In a computer-assisted and randomized way, copper foils of varying thickness (0 to 200 µm) were placed inter­occlusally between the single-tooth implant and the natural opposing tooth, and the active tactile perception was studied according to the psychophysical method of constant stimuli and statistically evaluated by logistic regression. Results: Tactile perception of the implants at the 50% value estimated by logistic regression was 20.2 ± 10.9 µm on average, and the slope was 29 ± 15. Regarding implant surface structure, significant differences were observed. The sandblasted and acid-etched surface was significantly more sensitive than the titanium plasma-sprayed surface, and the machined surface was similar to the titanium plasma-sprayed surface. Conclusions: Active tactile sensibility of implants with natural antagonistic teeth is very similar to that of teeth, but the slope of the tactile sensibility curve is flatter. Significant differences in tactile sensibility as a function of different implant surfaces may indicate that receptors near the implant form the basis of osseoperception. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2010;25:1159–1167

Key words: active tactile sensibility, dental implants, interdental perception sensibility, occlusion, osseoperception, surface properties

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