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The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants



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Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 11 (1996), No. 6     1. Nov. 1996
Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 11 (1996), No. 6  (01.11.1996)

Page 800-805

Electrophysiologic Evidence Showing the Existence of Sensory Receptors Within the Alveolar Bone in Anesthetized Cats
Héraud, Jean / Orofino, Jacques / Trub, Michel / Mei, Noël
Single-nerve activities were recorded in the gasserian ganglia of anesthetized cats by glass extracellular microelectrodes to determine whether sensory endings exist within the alveolar bone. Trigeminal cells responded to mechanical and/or thermal stimulation applied to the maxillary bone. Some were activated by specific kinds of fairly precise mechanical stimuli (moderate forces applied in a preferential direction); others exhibited a coarse mechanical sensitivity. In addition, electrical stimulation was applied to the maxillary bone to determine the conduction velocities of the relevant fibers. These mainly ranged between 1 and 6 m/s, which indicates that the fibers belonged to the small-diameter category (thinnest myelinated and unmyelinated fibers). Similar results were obtained from animals with osseointegrated implants. It was concluded that the alveolar bone is endowed with sensory endings capable of detecting mechanical and thermal changes, and that these receptors may provide compensatory sensitivity in edentulous subjects whose main (periodontal) sensitivity has been eliminated.

Keywords: alveolar bone, cat, gasserian ganglion, microelectrode, sensory receptor