An in vitro study of the treatment of implant surfaces with different instruments

Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 1998 Jan-Feb;13(1):91-6.


The aim of this in vitro study using implants and abutments was to examine traces left by various cleaning instruments and to determine the quantity of substance removal. The implants and relevant abutments were Screw-Vent implants (Dentsply), titanium plasma-coated full-screw implants (Straumann), and standard Brånemark implants (Nobel Biocare). The instruments used were titanium curettes, Gracey curettes, plastic curettes, rubber cups with Zircate prophy paste, the Cavitron Jet ultrasonic scaler with universal inserts and airpolishing nozzles with Prophy-Jet cleaning powder, and the Densonic sonic scaler with SofTip disposable prophy tips and universal tips. Two test fields (2 x 2 mm) on the respective implant head and abutment underwent standard treatment with each instrument. With the full-screw implants, an additional two test fields were examined from the transition of the titanium plasma coating to the implant head. Untreated implants and abutment surfaces served as controls. The treated and untreated surfaces were examined by scanning electron microscopy for work traces and by optical laser profilometry for substance removal. The results showed that the Cavitron Jet ultrasonic unit, the Densonic sonic scaler with universal tips, and the Gracey curette left pronounced traces and induced high substance removal. The titanium curette and the Densonic sonic scaler with SofTip disposable prophy tips left virtually no traces and removed very little substance. The rubber cup, the plastic curette, and the Cavitron Jet airpolishing system left the implant surfaces unchanged. All instruments apart from the rubber cup and Cavitron Jet airpolishing system left pronounced traces at the transition of the implant head to the titanium plasma coating of the full-screw implants. The Cavitron Jet airpolishing system, the rubber cup, the plastic curette, and, with some reservations, the Densonic sonic scaler with SofTip plastic fittings and the titanium curette, appear to be suitable for cleaning implant surfaces.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Air Pressure
  • Dental Abutments*
  • Dental Implants*
  • Dental Instruments / adverse effects
  • Dental Plaque / therapy
  • Dental Polishing*
  • Dental Scaling / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rubber
  • Sonication
  • Subgingival Curettage / instrumentation
  • Surface Properties
  • Ultrasonics


  • Dental Implants
  • Rubber