Objectives: This experiment was performed to evaluate clinically and histologically the effect of mechanical therapy with or without antiseptic therapy on peri-implant mucositis lesions in nine cynomolgus monkeys.
Material and methods: Two ITI titanium implants were inserted into each side of the mandibles. After 90 days of plaque control and soft tissue healing, a baseline clinical examination was completed. Peri-implant lesions were induced by placing silk ligatures and allowing plaque to accumulate for 6 weeks. The clinical examination was then repeated, and the monkeys were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: group A, mechanical cleansing only; group B, mechanical cleansing and local irrigation with 0.12% chlorhexidine (CHX) and application of 0.2% CHX gel; and group C, control, no treatment. The implants in treatment groups A and B were treated and maintained according to the assigned treatment for two additional months. At the end of the maintenance period, a final clinical examination was performed and the animals were sacrificed for biopsies.
Results: The mean probing depths (PD) values at mucositis were: 3.5, 3.7, and 3.4 mm, and clinical attachment level (CAL) = 3.8, 4.1, and 3.9 mm for treatment groups A, B and C, respectively. The corresponding values after treatment were: PD = 1.7, 2.1, and 2.5 mm, and CAL=2.6, 2.6, and 3.1 mm. ANOVA of mean changes (Delta) in PD and CAL after treatment showed no statistical difference between the treatment groups. Comparison of the mean changes in PD and CAL after treatment yielded statistical differences between the control and treatment groups P < 0.01. According to the t-test, no statistical difference was found between treatment groups A and B for the PD reduction but there was a significant difference for the CAL change, P < 0.03. Group A had significantly more recession and less CAL gain than group B. Non-parametric tests yielded no significant differences in modified plaque index (mPlI) and gingival index (GI) after treatment between both treatment groups. Frequencies and percent distributions of the mPlI and GI scores changed considerably for both treatment groups when compared with the changes in the control group after treatment. With regard to the histological evaluation, no statistical differences existed between the treatments for any linear measurement. The proportion of inflammation found in the mucosal tissues of the control implants was greater than the one found for both treatment groups, P < 0.01. More importantly, both treatment groups showed a similar low proportion of inflammation after 2 months of treatment.
Conclusions: Within the limitations of this experiment, and considering the supportive plaque control rendered, it can be concluded that for pockets of 3-4 mm: (1) mechanical therapy alone or combined with CHX results in the clinical resolution of peri-implant mucositis lesions, (2) histologically, both treatments result in minimal inflammation compatible with health, and (3) the mechanical effect alone is sufficient to achieve clinical and histologic resolution of mucositis lesions.