The goal of this work was to investigate the role of immediate loading on the peri-implant bone healing in dental implant treatments. A mechano-regulatory tissue differentiation model that takes into account the stimuli through the solid and the fluid components of the healing tissue, and the diffusion of pluripotent stem cells into the healing callus was used. A two-dimensional axisymmetric model consisting of a dental implant, the healing callus tissue and the host bone tissue was constructed for the finite element analysis. Poroelastic material properties were assigned to the healing callus and the bone tissue. The effects of micro-motion, healing callus size, and implant thread design on the length of the bone-to-implant contact (BIC) and the bone volume (BV) formed in the healing callus were investigated. In general, the analysis predicted formation of a continuous layer of soft tissue along the faces of the implant which are parallel to the loading direction. This was predicted to be correlated with the high levels of distortional strain transferred through the solid component of the stimulus. It was also predicted that the external threads on the implant, redistribute the interfacial load, thus help reduce the high distortional stimulus and also help the cells to differentiate to bone tissue. In addition, the region underneath the implant apex was predicted to experience high fluid stimulus that results in the development of soft tissue. The relationship between the variables considered in this study and the outcome measures, BV and BIC, was found to be highly nonlinear. A three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) of the results was conducted and it showed that micro-motion presents the largest hindrance to bone formation during healing.
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