Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of surface hydrophilicity and microtopography on soft and hard tissue integration at non-submerged titanium implants.
Methods: Implantation of conventional sand-blasted large grit and acid-etched (SLA) and chemically modified SLA (modSLA) titanium implants with differently structured transmucosal surfaces (SLA implants: machined [M-SLA] or SLA [SLA-SLA]; modSLA implants: mod acid-etched [modA] [modA-modSLA] or modSLA [modSLA-modSLA]) was performed bilaterally in the upper and lower jaws of 15 beagle dogs. The animals were sacrificed after 1, 4, 7, 14, or 28 days. Tissue reactions were assessed histomorphometrically and immunohistochemically using monoclonal antibodies to transglutaminase II (angiogenesis) and osteocalcin.
Results: Although the junctional epithelium commonly was separated from M-SLA and SLA-SLA implants by a gap, the epithelial cells appeared to be in close contact with modA-modSLA surfaces after 14 days of healing. Moreover, modA-modSLA and modSLA-modSLA groups showed a well-vascularized subepithelial connective tissue exhibiting collagen fibers that started to extend and attach partially perpendicular to the implant surface. The highest and statistically significant mean bone-to-implant contact areas were observed in the modA-modSLA and modSLA-modSLA groups at days 7, 14, and 28.
Conclusion: Within the limits of this study, it may be concluded that soft and hard tissue integration was influenced mainly by surface hydrophilicity rather than by microtopography.