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Volume 18 , Issue 2
March/April 2003

Pages 266272

Changes in Passive Tactile Sensibility Associated with Dental Implants Following Their Placement

Ali M. El-Sheikh, BDS, MSD, MSc, PhD/John A. Hobkirk, BDS, PhD, Dr Med HC, FDSRCS (Ed), FDSRCS (Eng)/Peter G. T. Howell, BSc, BDS, PhD/Mark S. Gilthorpe, BSc, PhD, ILTM

PMID: 12705306

Purpose: This study investigated the changes that might occur in passive tactile sensibility during a period of 3 months following implant placement in a group of edentulous subjects treated with dental implants. The effect of changing the velocity of force application on passive tactile sensibility was also investigated. Materials and Methods: Five edentulous subjects who had been treated (as a part of an immediate loading study) with 2 or more Nobel Biocare dental implants in the anterior mandible were studied. Pushing forces were applied directly and perpendicular to the long axes of the abutments until the subjects felt the first sensation of pressure, using a computer-controlled, custom-made device. The force was measured with an integral transducer. The applied force had a ramped staircase pattern, which was used at 2 different tip velocities. The measurements were taken on 4 occasions: 1, 2, 4, and 12 weeks after fitting the abutments. Results: Statistical analysis, using multilevel modeling, demonstrated that there was a significant decrease in the tactile threshold over successive weeks following implant placement. It also demonstrated that high velocity exhibited a higher threshold than low velocity. Discussion and Conclusion: It could be concluded that there was a significant increase in passive tactile sensibility during the healing phase following implant placement. (INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 2003;18:266272)

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