Objective: Mechanical plaque removal may alter the surface morphology of the gingival penetration part of the implant. We applied an air-powered abrasive system (AP), titanium curette (TC), stainless curette (SC), ultrasound scaler (US), and titanium brush (TB) which are commonly used to remove plaque, to titanium or zirconia and the changes in surface morphology and the epithelial attach against substrata. Materials and Methods: (a) The morphological changes of titanium and zirconia after mechanical cleaning were assessed by scanning electron microscopy and a roughness analyser. (b) Oral epithelial cells of rats were inoculated on the surface of the materials after mechanical cleaning, and the adherence of epithelial cells was observed. (c) The maxillary first molars were extracted from the rats and replaced by experimental titanium or zirconia implants. The length of the immunoreactive laminin-332 band was observed at the implant-peri-implant epithelium interface. Results: (a) The surface roughness increased in experimental groups except the AP group. (b) Among the experimental groups, the AP group showed the highest number of attached cells. (c) The length of the immunoreactive laminin-332 band was longer in the control group than those in all five experimental groups. Among the experimental groups, the AP group showed the longest band. Conclusion: All mechanical cleaning methods increased the surface roughness of the materials except AP. AP did not cause distinct implant surface alterations. Surface alteration caused by mechanical cleaning may evoke inferior for epithelial attachment and reduce resistance against foreign infiltration.
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