Journal of periodontology vol:67 issue:10 pages:986-93
The sterile abutments of 2-stage implants offer a unique model to study intraoral transmission and bacterial colonization patterns in the oral cavity. This study aimed to examine, by means of differential phase contrast microscopy, parameters that influence the intra-oral colonization of these abutments. In part one, 159 partially edentulous patients were examined to determine the influence on the microbial composition around implants of the following parameters: 1) the relative location of the teeth in relation to the implants; 2) the microbial composition of the subgingival plaque around these teeth; and 3) the frequency of deep pockets around the natural dentition. The results indicate that the subgingival flora around the implants harbored more spirochetes and motile rods when teeth were present in the same jaw (P < 0.05) and/or when the pockets around them harbored a pathogenic flora (P < 0.05). In part two, the impact of periodontitis around the remaining teeth and of probing depth around the implants on the composition of the peri-implant subgingival flora was investigated. Thirty-one partially edentulous implant patients were classified according to their periodontal condition into 3 groups: healthy (n = 17), chronic periodontitis (n = 11), and refractory periodontitis (n = 3). The samples from deep pockets (> or = 4 mm) around implants showed significant increases in the total proportion of spirochetes and motile organisms when compared to samples from healthy subjects (1.2%) or in chronic periodontitis patients (21.0%), or to patients suffering from refractory periodontitis (31.5%). For shallow pockets (< 4 mm) significant differences were only detected between subjects with a healthy periodontium (1.0%) or chronic periodontitis (2.4%), and refractory periodontitis cases (19.7%). The present findings confirm the transmission of microorganisms from teeth to implants, and thereby highlight the importance of periodontal health around the natural dentition before as well as after implant installation.