Objectives: The aim of the present pilot study was to investigate initial and early tissue reactions to modified (mod) and conventional sand-blasted, large grit and acid-etched (SLA) titanium implants.
Material and methods: Implantation of modSLA and SLA implants was performed bilaterally in both the mandible and maxilla of dogs. The animals were sacrificed after a healing period of 1, 4, 7 and 14 days, respectively. Peri-implant tissue reactions were assessed in non-decalcified tissue sections using conventional histology (Toluidine blue-TB and Masson Goldner Trichrome stain-MG) and immunohistochemistry using monoclonal antibodies to transglutaminase II (TG) (angiogenesis) and osteocalcin (OC). Bone density (BD) and bone to implant contact (BIC) were assessed histomorphometrically.
Results: Day 1 revealed an early TG antigen reactivity in the provisional fibrin matrix adjacent to both implant surfaces. Day 4 was characterized by the formation of a collagen-rich connective tissue (MG), which revealed the first signs of OC synthesis adjacent to modSLA surfaces. Immunohistochemical staining for TG revealed a direct correlation between angiogenesis and new bone formation, which was clearly identifiable after 7 days by means of increasing BD, BIC and OC values. After 14 days, modSLA surfaces seemed to be surrounded by a firmly attached mature, parallel-fibered woven bone.
Conclusions: Within the limits of the present study, it might be concluded that the combination of immunohistochemical and conventional histological stainings in non-decalcified tissue sections is a valuable technique to evaluate the initial and early stages of wound healing around endosseous titanium implants.