The bone anchorage components of commercially available oral implant systems differ in surface roughness by at least sixfold. Correct reporting of the surface roughness of implant systems is important, since one cannot exclude the possibility that surface roughness will influence clinical results. However, many confusing statements are found in the literature when the surface topography of implants is described. Different measuring instruments and techniques strongly influence the outcome of a topographic characterization. Furthermore, a screw-type design introduces problems for most measuring instruments. Without a standard procedure, it is generally impossible to compare values from one study with another. The aim of the present study was to suggest standards for topographic evaluation of oral implants in terms of measuring equipment, filtering process, and selection of parameters. It is suggested that the measuring instrument be able to measure all parts of a threaded implant if the investigation relates to such a design. Preferably, 3-dimensional measurements should be performed. On screw-type implants, tops, valleys, and flanks should be evaluated. At least 3 samples in a batch should be evaluated, filter size must be specified, and at least one of each height, spatial, and hybrid parameter should be presented.
Keywords: dental implants, laboratory techniques and procedures, surface properties