Antibacterial activity of dental implant metals

Implant Dent. Spring 1992;1(1):59-65. doi: 10.1097/00008505-199200110-00006.


This study was conducted to investigate the specific in vitro antibacterial effect of seven dental implant metals on oral bacteria which have often been identified in failing implants. The metals chosen for evaluation were titanium, chromium, cobalt, aluminum, iron, gold, and vanadium. These metals were selected because they are contained in many commonly used dental implants. The bacteria selected for this study included isolates of Porphyromonas endodontalis, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Prevotella melaniogenica, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Actinomyces naeslundii, and Actinomyces viscosus. Sets of tubes containing either supplemented trypticase soy broth, brain-heart infusion-yeast extract, or brain-heart infusion-yeast extract with 5 percent defibrinated rabbit blood were aseptically prepared with doubling dilutions of the seven metals starting at an initial concentration of 500 micrograms/ml and terminating at 0 microgram/ml. Cultures of each organism were inoculated into each set of broth tubes containing all concentrations of metals. Tubes were incubated either anaerobically or in an atmosphere of 5 percent carbon dioxide for 48 hours at 35 degrees C and then assayed for ATP content which was proportional to the viable cellular biomass. The results showed that, although being bacteria and concentration dependent, all seven metals suppressed the growth of each organism. The rank order of antibacterial activity expressed by dental implant metals was gold > titanium > cobalt > vanadium > aluminum > chromium > iron.

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces / drug effects
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / drug effects
  • Aluminum / pharmacology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteroides / drug effects
  • Chromium / pharmacology
  • Cobalt / pharmacology
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dental Implants*
  • Dental Materials / pharmacology*
  • Gold / pharmacology
  • Iron / pharmacology
  • Metals / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Titanium / pharmacology
  • Vanadium / pharmacology


  • Dental Implants
  • Dental Materials
  • Metals
  • Vanadium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Gold
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Iron