Success rate and strength of osseointegration of immediately loaded UV-photofunctionalized implants in a rat model

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Statement of problem.

Despite its clinical benefits, the immediate loading protocol might have a higher risk of implant failure than the regular protocol. Ultraviolet (UV) photofunctionalization is a novel surface enhancement technique for dental implants. However, the effect of photofunctionalization under loading conditions is unclear.


The purpose of this animal study was to evaluate the effect of photofunctionalization on the biomechanical quality and strength of osseointegration under loaded conditions in a rat model.

Material and methods.

Untreated and photofunctionalized, acid-etched titanium implants were placed into rat femurs. The implants were immediately loaded with 0.46 N of constant lateral force. The implant positions were evaluated after 2 weeks of healing. The strength of osseointegration was evaluated by measuring the bone-implant interfacial breakdown point during biomechanical push-in testing.


Photofunctionalization induced hydrophilic surfaces on the implants. Osseointegration was successful in 28.6% of untreated implants and 100% of photofunctionalized implants. The strength of osseointegration in successful implants was 2.4 times higher in photofunctionalized implants than in untreated implants. The degree of tilt of untreated implants toward the origin of force was twice that of photofunctionalized implants.


Within the limit of an animal model, photofunctionalization significantly increased the success of osseointegration and prevented implant tilt. Even for the implants that underwent successful osseointegration, the strength of osseointegration was significantly higher for photofunctionalized implants than for untreated implants. Further experiments are warranted to determine the effectiveness of photofunctionalization on immediately loaded dental implants.

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