Background: Titanium dental implants are today widely used with osseointegration mainly dependently on the implant surface properties. Different processing routes lead to different surface characteristics resulting, of course, in different in situ behaviors of the implants.
Materials: The effect of different treatments, whether mechanical or chemical, on the surface morphology of titanium implants were investigated. To this aim, various experimental methods, including roughness analysis as well scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations, were applied.
Results: The results showed that, in contrast to the mechanical treatments, the chemical ones gave rise to a more irregular surface. SEM observations suggested that where commercial pure titanium was used, the chemical treatments provided implant surfaces without contaminations. In contrast, sandblasted implants could cause potential risks of surface contamination because of the presence of blasting particles remnants.
Conclusions: The examined implant surfaces showed different roughness levels in relation to the superficial treatment applied. The acid-etched surfaces were characterized by the presence of deeper valleys and higher peaks than the sandblasted surfaces. For this reason, acid-etched surfaces can be more easily damaged by the stress produced by the peri-implant bone during surgical implant placement.
Keywords: Ti6Al4V; dental implant; surface morphology; titanium; treatments.