Development and viability of biofilms grown on experimental abutments mimicking dental implants: an in vivo model

Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2019 Jul 1; 24 (4):e511-7.


To determine whether an experimental abutment mimicking the macro- and microstructure of a dental implant is a suitable method for recovering biofilm, and to describe the features of biofilms formed around such abutments on healthy implants.


Experimental abutments were used in 15 patients without peri-implant diseases. After 14 days’ absence of dental hygiene in this area, the abutments were retrieved and analyzed through confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The biofilm formation on the surface of the first 5 abutments was determined by a fluorescence-staining method using SYTO9 nucleic acid stain. In order to study the biofilm’s coverage and vitality, 10 additional abutments were assessed using live & dead bacterial viability. Descriptive and bivariate analyses of the data were performed.


A global plaque coverage of the abutments was observed in all cases. The submucosal area of the abutment was mostly covered with biofilm (over 21%). Moreover, significant differences between supra- and subgingival locations were detected.


This in vivo experimental model allows detailed observation of the extensive plaque growth found on exposed experimental abutments mimicking dental implants when hygiene measures are absent. The biofilm coverage is significantly higher in the supragingival zone than in the subgingival portion.

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