Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 19 (1999), No. 5 1. Sep. 1999
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.