In vivo early human dental plaque formation on different supporting substances. A scanning electron microscopic and bacteriological study

Clin Oral Implants Res. Jan-Mar 1991;2(1):38-46. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0501.1991.020105.x.


Different studies have shown that various substances may have an influence on early human dental plaque formation. The purpose of the present study was to compare on tooth substances and supporting prosthetic materials the amount of plaque deposition by SEM and the quantity of selected bacteria using anaerobic culturing techniques. 5 bridges, replacing a missing molar or premolar, were incorporated in 3 patients. In the midbuccal area of each pontic, a semi-precision attachment was placed allowing the insertion of the following test facings: enamel, dentine, non gamma 2-amalgam, alloys of 85% and 55% gold, silver-palladium, chrome-cobalt, chrome-cobalt-titanium, and ceramic. For each material, 2 facings were fabricated. After 4 and 24 hours in situ, bacteriological samples were taken and processed for further identification. After a 2nd period of 4 and 24 hours in situ, the same facings were carefully removed and prepared for SEM-examination. All 4-hour specimens exhibited various areas covered by plaque, the amount of which varied with the different supporting substances. The very smooth surfaces (e.g., gold) harbored sparse deposits, while the rougher (e.g., amalgam) were covered by more plaque. After 24 hours of plaque development, an increase in the number of micro-organisms was noted for all the specimens. After 4 and 24 hours of plaque accumulation, no specific trends suggesting a preferential colonization on the different substances were observed. This study has shown that the amount of early deposits on different substances seems to be related to the degree of their surface roughness, while plaque formation was qualitatively similar.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Ceramics
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dental Alloys*
  • Dental Enamel / microbiology
  • Dental Materials*
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Dentin / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Middle Aged
  • Surface Properties


  • Dental Alloys
  • Dental Materials