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J Oral Rehabil. 2007 May;34(5):377-82.

Analysis of early biofilm formation on oral implants in man.

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Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Biofilm formation on oral implants can cause inflammation of peri-implant tissues, which endangers the long-term success of osseointegrated implants. It has been reported previously that implants revealing signs of peri-implantitis contain subgingival microbiota similar to those of natural teeth with periodontitis. The purpose of the first part of this study was an atraumatic, quantitative investigation of biofilm formation on oral implant abutments; the objective of the second part was to investigate whether Haemophilus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis were present in the crevicular fluid around oral implants. Biofilm formation on 14 healing abutments, inserted for 14 days in 10 patients, was analysed quantitatively by use of secondary-electron and Rutherford-backscattering-detection methods. A 16S rRNA-based polymerase chain reaction detection method was used to detect the presence of H. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis in the crevicular fluid. For this investigation, samples of sulcus fluid were collected with sterile paper points at four measurement points per abutment. The difference between biofilm coverage of supragingival surfaces (17.5 +/- 18.3%) and subgingival surfaces (0.8 +/- 1.0%) was statistically significant (P < 0.05). By use of universal primers, bacteria were found in all the samples taken, although the two periodontal pathogens were not found in any of the samples. The absence of periodontal pathogens from the sulcus fluid during initial bacterial colonization, despite massive supragingival biofilm formation, substantiates the assumption that cellular adherence of peri-implant tissue by means of hemidesmosoma, actin filaments and microvilli reduces the risk of formation of anaerobic subgingival pockets.

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