The soft tissue barrier at implants and teeth

Clin Oral Implants Res. 1991 Apr-Jun;2(2):81-90. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0501.1991.020206.x.


In the present animal experiment, analyses and comparisons were made between the structure and composition of clinically healthy supraalveolar soft tissues adjacent to implants and teeth. 5 beagle dogs were used. The right mandibular premolar region was selected in each dog for placement of titanium implants, while the left mandibular premolar region served as control. Extractions of the mandibular premolars were preformed, healing allowed, following which titanium fixtures were installed in the edentolous premolar region. Abutment connection was carried out 3 months later. After another 2 months of healing, plaque control was initiated and maintained for 8 weeks. At the end of the plaque control period, clinical examinations were performed and biopsies harvested from the implant site and the contralateral premolar tooth region. Following fixation and decalcification, all tissue samples were embedded in EPON and examined by histometric and morphometric means. The result from the analyses demonstrated that the periimplant mucosa which formed at titanium implants following abutment connection had many features in common with gingival tissue at teeth. Thus, like the gingiva, the peri-implant mucosa established a cuff-like barrier which adhered to the surface of the titanium abutment. Further, both the gingiva and the peri-implant mucosa had a well-keratinized oral epithelium which was continuous with a junctional epithelium that faced the enamel or the titanium surface. In the periimplant mucosa, the collagen fibers appeared to commence at the marginal bone and were parallel with the abutment surface. All gingival and periimplant units examined were free from infiltrates of inflammatory cells. It was suggested that under the conditions of study, both types of soft tissues, gingiva and periimplant mucosa, have a proper potential to prevent subgingival plaque formation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dental Implants*
  • Dogs
  • Epithelial Attachment / anatomy & histology*
  • Gingiva / anatomy & histology*
  • Mouth Mucosa / anatomy & histology
  • Titanium


  • Dental Implants
  • Titanium