Objectives: To investigate bacterial adhesion to various abutment materials. Material and methods: Thirty volunteers participated in this study. Resin splints were fabricated, and five types of disks were fabricated from pure titanium, gold-platinum alloy, zirconia, alumina, and hydroxyapatite with uniform surface roughness and attached to the buccal surface of each splint. After 4 days of use by the subjects, the plaque accumulated on the disk surfaces was analyzed. The bacterial community structure was evaluated using 16S rRNA gene profiling with terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. The total bacterial count on each disk was estimated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles were more similar between tested materials than between subjects, suggesting that the bacterial community structures on the abutment material were influenced more by the individuals than by the type of material. However, the total number of bacteria attached to a disk was significantly different among five materials (P < 0.001, Brunner-Langer test for longitudinal data). Fewer bacteria were attached to the gold-platinum alloy than to the other materials. Conclusions: Gold-platinum alloy appears to be useful material for abutments when considering the accumulation of plaque. However, alternative properties of the abutment material, such as effects on soft tissue healing, should also be taken into consideration when choosing an abutment material.
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