Histologic Evaluation of Guided Vertical Ridge Augmentation Around Implants in Humans
Stefano Parma-Benfenati, MD, DDS, MScD/Carlo Tinti, MD, DDS/Tomas Albrektsson, MD, PhD, ODhc/Carina Johansson, PhD
Recent experimental and clinical case reports demonstrated vertical ridge regeneration in atrophic posterior mandibles and maxillae. Although the results from these clinical cases are quite encouraging there is a lack of human histologic data on the newly regenerated tissue around commercially available titanium implants. The aim of the present study was to perform a qualitative and quantitative histologic analysis of the bone response to previously exposed implant threads after treatment with guided bone regeneration in a series of patients. A total of 30 Nobel Biocare implants were consecutively placed in 6 patients with partially edentulous mandibles. Of these implants, 6 were planned for removal after 1 year, whereas the remaining 24 implants were inserted to function as support for a fixed partial denture. The 6 experimental implants were intentionally allowed to protrude occlusally 5 to 7 mm from the bone crest without countersinking. The exposed implant threads were completely covered by autogenous bone chips. After a 12-month healing period the 6 experimental implants were removed with trephine burs. Bone-to-metal contact and bone density in the implant threads were measured. Clinically, all implants were stable and there was complete tissue fill of the space underneath the membranes. Histologically, a substantial amount of new bone had formed underneath the membrane in all cases. Histomorphometrically, there was a lower bone-to-metal contact percentage in the exposed compared to the nonexposed region in every case. With respect to bone density, there was a mean of 43.2% in previously exposed regions compared to 60.3% in previously nonexposed regions.