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Keywords:

  • confocal microscopy;
  • dental implants;
  • scanning electron microscopy;
  • surface properties;
  • titanium;
  • toothbrushing

Abstract

Objective

Mechanical techniques, including scaling with metal, plastic, or ultrasonic instruments, rubber cup polishing, air-powder abrasive system and brushing with a conventional or a rotating brush, have been used for the debridement of dental implants. Recently, rotating brushes with titanium bristles (titanium brush) have been introduced for the debridement of implant surface when peri-implant osseous defects occur. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a titanium brush on machined (MA) and sand-blasted and acid-etched (SA) titanium surfaces using scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and profilometry. Moreover, correlations between the two quantitative evaluation methods (confocal microscopy and contact profilometry) were assessed.

Materials and Methods

Both MA and SA discs were treated with rotating titanium brush at 300 rpm under irrigation for a total of 40 s. Roughness measurements were taken with confocal microscopy and surface profilometry. Then, the MA and SA surfaces were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy to determine the changes of the surface properties.

Results

Untreated MA surface demonstrated uniform roughness with circumferential machining marks, and scratch lines over the original surfaces were observed after treatment with the titanium brush. Similarly, the titanium brush produced noticeable changes on the SA titanium surfaces. However, this treatment with titanium brush did not significantly change the roughness parameters, including the arithmetic mean height of the surface (Sa) and the maximum height of the surface (Sz), in both MA and SA surfaces. Correlations between two evaluation methods showed a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.98 with linear regression R2 of 0.96.

Conclusion

This study showed that the treatment with the titanium brush did not significantly change the roughness parameters, including Sa and Sz, in both MA and SA surfaces. Correlations between confocal microscopy and surface profilometry showed high correlation with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.98.