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Clinical Oral Implants Research

Composition of supra- and subgingival biofilm of subjects with healthy and diseased implants


Correspondence to:
Prof. Magda Feres
Centro de Pós-Graduação, Pesquisa e Extensão-CEPPE
Universidade Guarulhos
R. Dr Nilo Peçanha, 81
Prédio U – 6°, Andar
07011-040 Guarulhos
SP, Brazil
Tel.:+55 11 6464 1769
Fax:+55 11 6464 1758


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the microbial composition of supra- and subgingival biofilm in subjects with and without peri-implantitis.

Material and methods: Forty-four subjects (mean age 48.9 ± 13.51 years) with at least one implant restored and functional for at least 2 years were assigned to two groups: a peri-implantitis group (n=22), consisting of subjects presenting peri-implant sites with radiographic defects >3 mm, bleeding on probing and/or suppuration; and a control group (n=22), consisting of subjects with healthy implants. The clinical parameters evaluated were plaque index, gingival bleeding, bleeding on probing, suppuration, probing depth and clinical attachment level. Supra- and subgingival biofilm samples were taken from the deepest sites of each implant and analyzed for the presence of 36 microorganisms by checkerboard DNA–DNA hybridization.

Results: Higher mean counts of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola and Tannerella forsythia were observed in the peri-implantitis group, both supra- and subgingivally (P<0.05). The proportions of the pathogens from the red complex were elevated, while host-compatible beneficial microbial complexes were reduced in diseased compared with healthy implants. The microbiological profiles of supra- and subgingival environments did not differ substantially within each group.

Conclusion: Marked differences were observed in the composition of supra- and subgingival biofilm between healthy and diseased implants. The microbiota associated with peri-implantitis was comprised of more periodontal pathogenic bacterial species, including the supragingival biofilm.

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