A Histological Study on Tissue Responses to Titanium Implantation in Rat Maxilla: The Process of Epithelial Regeneration and Bone Reaction

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The present study aimed to establish a titanium implantation model using rat maxillae as well as demonstrate the chronological tissue responses to implantation. Pure titanium implants were inserted, in the upper first molar extraction sites of Wistar rats 1 month after tooth extraction. The animals were sacrificed at 1 to 30 days postimplantation, and prepared tissue specimens were processed for light microscopy. The removal of implants from tissue blocks was done using 2 methods: mechanical removal or a cryofracture technique. In the early stages, peri-implant tissues showed severe damage to the oral epithelium and collagen bundles with significant inflammatory cell infiltration. The peri-implant epithelium grew apically along the implant by 10 days postimplantation, and regenerated to show a similar feature of junctional epithelium seen in normal rats at 15 days postimplantation, at which time no signs of inflammation were observed. The regenerated collagen bundles in the connective tissue were arranged circumferentially to the implants in the horizontal sections. New bone formation first appeared around the implants at 5 days postimplantation, covering the entire perimeter of implants by 30 days postimplantation. Scanning electron microscopic observations of the surface texture of the removed implants suggest the probability of an adhesive mechanism between the implants and the peri-implant epithelium and/or the alveolar bone. These findings indicate that this experimental model is useful for detailed analysis of peri-implant tissue because of its easy implantation procedure. J Periodontol 1998;69:485–495.

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