Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 10 (1995), No. 6 1. Nov. 1995
In the edentulous patient with a completely implant-supported prosthesis, periodontal ligament receptors are absent. However, the implant patient's mandibular function during mastication and clenching is significantly improved and can be similar to that of dentulous subjects. The underlying mechanisms that govern this proprioceptive control are not well understood. One possibility that has been explored only partially is that residual axonal elements in the peri-implant region may have a proprioceptive function. To survey the peri-implant region for axonal elements, this study utilized immunohistochemistry with neurofilament as the marker. Histologic sections of the peri-implant area from 12 implants placed in the mandibles of three dogs were examined for the presence of neurofilament. Two to three labeled sites per section in the peri-implant region were commonly found. However, the functional significance of these axons must be further evaluated before any conclusions regarding their role in proprioception can be made.
Keywords: bone connective tissue, dental implants, immunohistochemistry, neurofilament, proprioception