Archives of oral biology vol:45 issue:12 pages:1083-1090
The perception of bipolar electrical stimuli through implants was studied. The stimuli were delivered to permucosal oral endosseous implants in 15 individuals, who then reported tapping to beating sensations. In 10 out of the 15, these stimuli evoked clearly distinguishable potentials in the averaged electroencephalograms. The most prominent scalp potential was a positive wave with a latency between 18 and 25 ms, often preceded by a negative wave with a latency around 12-17 ms. In contrast, when a motor response was elicited by stimulation of the lip, a shorter latency wave around 8-11 ms was found additionally, indicating that the former-mentioned waves represent a true sensory response and not an artefact of myogenous origin. Furthermore, topical anaesthesia of the gingiva surrounding the implants in six individuals had little effect on the sensory responses. This evidence excluded peri-implant mucosal innervation as the origin of the perception and of the somatosensory-evoked waves elicited by the electrical stimulation of the oral implants. To the best of our knowledge, for the first time a sensation (osseoperception) has been elicited by electrical stimulation of endosseous oral implants and correlated with simultaneously recorded trigeminal somatosensory-evoked potentials (TSEPs).