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J Oral Implantol. 1992;18(3):231-5.

A brief introduction to advanced surface modification technologies.


Techniques for the modification of surfaces are evolving rapidly. In implantology, few of the newer surface modification techniques have been used. The purpose of this paper is to provide an introduction to advanced surface modification processes that could be useful in dental implant manufacturing. There are three general techniques used to modify surfaces: add material, remove material, and change the material already present. Several processes for the addition of material to surfaces are described in this paper. Two new processes that can create relatively thick coatings are sol-gel and plasma-spraying. Several new processes making thin film coatings (sub-micron) have come from the electronics and optics industries. These are vapor deposition techniques, where the coating material condenses onto a surface from a vapor. The three basic vapor deposition techniques are: evaporation, sputtering, and chemical vapor deposition. New processes for the removal of material from surfaces, often for cleaning purposes, are glow discharge treatment and sputter-etching. Surface properties can also be changed without addition or removal of material by use of laser and electron beam thermal treatments. Ion implantation can be used to add material to surfaces, modify coatings, and change microstructures. The techniques outlined in this paper have great potential for improving implants.

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