Journal of Dental Research vol:72 issue:9 pages:1304-9
In nine patients with fixed prostheses supported by endosseous titanium implants, 2 titanium abutments (transmucosal part of the implant) were replaced by either an unused standard abutment or a roughened titanium abutment. After 3 months of habitual oral hygiene, plaque samples were taken for differential phase-contrast microscopy, DNA probe analysis, and culturing. Supragingivally, rough abutments harbored significantly fewer coccoid micro-organisms (64 vs. 81%), which is indicative of a more mature plaque. Subgingivally, the observations depended on the sampling procedure. For plaque collected with paper points, only minor qualitative and quantitative differences between both substrata could be registered. However, when the microbiota adhering to the abutment were considered, rough surfaces harbored 25 times more bacteria, with a slightly lower density of coccoid organisms. The presence and density of periodontal pathogens subgingivally were, however, more related to the patient's dental status than to the surface characteristics of the abutments. These results justify the search for optimal surface smoothness for all intra-oral and intra-sulcular hard surfaces for reduction of bacterial colonization and of periodontal pathogens.