Microvascular Reactivity of Peri-implant Mucosa in Humans: Effect of Abutment Material

Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent. Sep-Oct 2021;41(5):761-768. doi: 10.11607/prd.5343.


The morphology and histology of the soft tissue around the implant are different from the periodontal tissue, but the difference in the regulation of blood flow is not known. The aim of the study was to compare the resting blood flow and the vasodilatation capacity of the gingiva between implants and teeth. Twenty-six healthy volunteers with single-tooth implants were involved. The implant-borne crown was retained on either a zirconia or titanium abutment. The vasodilatation capacity of the gingiva was assessed by a postocclusive reactive hyperemia test. Blood flow was measured by a laser speckle contrast imager at the buccal gingiva of the implant-borne crown and an analog natural tooth. No significant differences in baseline gingival blood flow were observed between the different abutments and the teeth in either region. The hyperemia after compression was significantly attenuated at the zirconia abutments in all regions during the entire investigation period (20 minutes) compared to the titanium abutments and the teeth. No differences were observed between titanium abutments and the teeth. The resting microcirculation seems to be the same at implants and teeth. However, the vascular reactivity might be disturbed at the zirconia, but not at the titanium, abutment.

MeSH terms

  • Crowns
  • Dental Abutments
  • Dental Implants*
  • Dental Implants, Single-Tooth*
  • Humans
  • Mucous Membrane
  • Titanium
  • Zirconium


  • Dental Implants
  • Zirconium
  • Titanium