CONTROL ID: 2603419
CONTACT: Dirk Duddeck
Abstract Details



Organic Contaminations on Dental Implants – SEM Surface Analysis Showed Significant Variations in the Production Quality of 140 Implants

Duddeck, Dirk U.

Implant surfaces determine the initial phase of the biologic response to the inserted implant and affects its ability to integrate into the surrounding tissue. Unfortunately the majority of dental practitioners only have limited non-biased information about the quality, the material and the surface characteristics of the implants they use in their daily practice. A quality assessment of 140 different dental implants from various manufacturers by SEM analysis revealed several implants with significant organic contaminants.

After two previous studies starting in 2008 with 23 samples this research project covers 140 sterile-packaged implants from 100 suppliers. The implants were examined under the scanning electron microscope including qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis (EDS).

The Phenom ProX Scanning Electron Microscope is equipped with a high-sensitivity back-scattered electron (BSE) detector which shows the material contrast and provides information about the distribution of different elements in the sample. EDS analyses used a thermoelectrically cooled Silicon Drift Detector.

The majority of all implants showed a clean surface in the material-contrast image and in the elemental analysis.

However, surprisingly a significant number of implants, in particular copy-cat products, were found with massive organic particles. Implants displayed organic pollution in multiple forms: single particles (4-30 microns), over a broad area of the implants surface or in a systematic distribution pattern on the outer implant threads. Many of these organic contaminants showed in addition small embedded inorganic residues (particles of 2-10 microns) containing silicon, sulfur, copper, chromium, iron, nickel, tin or even tungsten from the manufacturing and/or packaging process. One implant showed numerous particles of stainless steel embedded on the surface probably as a consequence of recycled blasting material.

Conclusion: Impurities are preventable, as this study clearly shows. However, some manufacturers have room for improvement as we owe it to our patients to eliminate avoidable risks. While it is obviously that we cannot expect premium quality dental implants for minimum costs, we also cannot fully trust companies just because they are big unless they show that their implants are properly tested.

Organic Contaminations on Dental Implants – SEM Surface Analysis Showed Significant Variations in the Production Quality of 140 Implants

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