At present, limited functional data exists regarding the application and use of biomechanical and imaging technologies for oral implant osseointegration assessment. The objective of this investigation was to determine the functional apparent moduli (FAMs) that could predict the dynamics of oral implant osseointegration. Using an in vivo dental implant osseous healing model, two FAMs, functional bone apparent modulus (FBAM), and composite tissue apparent modulus (FCAM), of the selected peri-implant structures were calculated via microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) and finite element (FE) simulations in order to support this concept. Results showed significant sensitivity between FAMs and micro-CT parameters, especially between bone mineral density and FBAM, while at extraction defect sites the strongest correlations existed between bone-implant contact and FCAM. Significant enhancement of FCAM indicated progressive functional repair during early osseointegration. Further, the resultant interfacial resistance was predicted by bone mineral content (BMC) and FBAM within a approximately 200 microm peri-implant thickness, while the extraction defects gave zones of approximately 575 microm and 200 microm for BMC and FCAM, respectively. These results suggest that the function of dental implant support can be predicted from a peri-implant structural zone. We conclude that FAMs can be used to predict the dynamics of dental implant osseointegration in vivo.
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