Supra- and subgingival biofilm formation on implant abutments with different surface characteristics

Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. Mar-Apr 2008;23(2):327-34.


Purpose: The aim of the present study was to establish a noninvasive method for quantitative analysis of supra- and subgingival biofilm formation on dental implants considering different surface modifications.

Materials and methods: Patients of both sexes were included. They had to be in generally good health, partially edentulous, and the recipient of at least 1 screw-type implant with an abutment possessing supra- and subgingival areas. Healing abutments were inserted for 14 days. The abutment surfaces were divided into quadrants that were sandblasted, ground, acid-etched, and untreated (with the latter surface as a control). Biofilm formation on the healing abutments was analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, including secondary-electron and Rutherford backscattering-detection methods. Calculation of biofilm-covered surfaces was performed depending on grey-values, considering supra- and subgingival areas. After calculating absolute and relative biofilm-covered surfaces depending on localization, the influence of surface modification on biofilm formation was analyzed.

Results: Fifteen healing abutments were inserted in 11 patients. In all surface properties plaque adhesion in supragingival areas was significantly higher (17.3% +/- 23.1%) than in subgingival areas (0.8% +/- 1.0%). Biofilm accumulation in supragingival areas was significantly increasing by higher surface roughness, whereas this influence was not detected in subgingival areas.

Conclusion: The described method is valuable for investigation of supra- and subgingival biofilm adhesion on surface-modified implant abutments. There was a significant influence of surface localization (supra- and subgingival) as well as surface modification on biofilm formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biofilms*
  • Dental Abutments / microbiology*
  • Dental Etching / methods
  • Dental Implants / microbiology*
  • Dental Prosthesis Design*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jaw, Edentulous, Partially / rehabilitation
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Middle Aged
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Surface Properties


  • Dental Implants