Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 17 (2002), No. 5 15. Oct. 2002
Purpose: Titanium endosseous implants are becoming increasingly important in dentistry because of their excellent long-term results. However, it has been reported that these implants may lead to higher concentrations of titanium, especially in the lungs and kidneys. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to determine whether CO2 laser-assisted decontamination of exposed implant surfaces is associated with an increase in titanium release. Materials and Methods: In 6 beagle dogs, a total of 60 implants were placed. After osseointegration and second-stage surgery, peri-implantitis was induced by cotton floss ligatures for 12 weeks. Surgical treatment consisted of granulation tissue removal, including decontamination of the implant surface with 3 different methods. Twenty implants were decontaminated conventionally by an air-powder abrasive for 60 seconds. Another 20 implants were decontaminated by laser treatment alone. The last 20 implants were treated conventionally by air-powder abrasive and then lased. Four months later, fresh tissue samples of various tissues were evaluated by histologic and chemical analysis. Results: Quantitative analysis indicated that titanium accumulation could be detected, especially in the spleen, liver, oral mucosa, regional lymph nodes, lung, and kidney in the beagle dog model. Discussion: The concentrations found did not exceed those previously reported in the literature. Conclusion: These results support the hypothesis that CO2 laser-assisted therapy of ailing implants will not result in excessive titanium concentrations in tissues. Accordingly, CO2 lasers appear suitable and safe for peri-implant gingival surgery.