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Keywords:

  • biomaterials;
  • implants, artificial;
  • radiography, dental

Abstract – Radiographic assessment of marginal bone height is included in longitudinal control of osseointegrated implants. Previous studies have revealed a mean annual loss of less than 0.1 mm. The purpose of the present study was by means of an experimental model to analyze the influence upon alveolar bone height measures around osseointegrated implants of buccolingual bone dimensions as well as angulations of fixture axis to central X-ray beam. Brånemark titanium implants were inserted into acrylic test blocks simulating alveolar ridges of various widths. 0.2 mm steel wires visualized buccal and lingual bone margins. Standardized radiographs were obtained by stepwise variation of projection angles. Separation of the wire images varied from 0.1 mm (buccolingual width 5 mm and 1° angulation) to 4.8 mm (width 13 mm and angulation 20°). In clinical cases distortion of buccal and lingual bone margins may result in overestimation of bone heights. The degree of overestimation is influenced by the buccolingual position of the fixture. Strict parallelism between fixture axes and film plane is essential to obtain valid results using single films.