Bacterial adhesion on smooth and rough titanium surfaces after treatment with different instruments

J Periodontol. 2009 Nov;80(11):1824-32. doi: 10.1902/jop.2009.090273.


Background: Newly formed biofilm after implant debridement may challenge the long-term stability of peri-implant therapy. This in vitro study aimed to assess the roughness and adherence of Streptococcus sanguinis after treatment of smooth and rough titanium surfaces with an erbium-doped:yttrium, aluminum, and garnet (Er:YAG) laser, metal and plastic curets, and an air-powder abrasive system.

Methods: Forty titanium disks with smooth-machined surfaces and 40 with sand-blasted and acid-etched surfaces were divided into the following treatment groups: Er:YAG laser; plastic curet; metal curet, and air-powder abrasive system. The surface roughness (roughness average [Ra]) before and after treatments was determined using a profilometer. S. sanguinis (American Type Culture Collection 10556) was grown on treated and untreated specimens, and the amounts of retained bacteria on the surfaces were measured by the culture method. Rough and smooth surfaces with and without a suspension of S. sanguinis were also analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

Results: For smooth surfaces, the roughest surfaces were produced by metal curets (repeated-measures analysis of variance [ANOVA] and Tukey test; P <0.05). The rough-surface profile was not altered by any of the treatments (repeated-measures ANOVA; P >0.05). Rough surfaces treated with metal curets and air-powder abrasion showed the lowest level of bacterial adhesion (two-way ANOVA and Tukey test; P <0.05). SEM analysis revealed distinct surface profiles produced by all devices.

Conclusions: Metal curets are not recommended for smooth titanium surface debridement due to severe texture alteration. Rough surfaces treated with a metal curet and the air-powder abrasive system were less susceptible to bacterial adhesion, probably due to texture modification and the presence of abrasive deposits.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acid Etching, Dental
  • Adolescent
  • Alloys
  • Aluminum Oxide / chemistry
  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology*
  • Curettage / instrumentation
  • Dental Etching / methods*
  • Dental Materials / chemistry*
  • Dental Pellicle / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Solid-State
  • Male
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nitric Acid / chemistry
  • Plastics
  • Streptococcus / physiology*
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • Alloys
  • Dental Materials
  • Plastics
  • Nitric Acid
  • Titanium
  • Aluminum Oxide