Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 27 (2012), No. 4 15. July 2012
Purpose: The aim of the present in vivo study was to examine alterations of the microbial community structure in biofilms on different dental implant surfaces over the time.
Materials and Methods: Zirconium nitride-coated glass (ZrN-glass) and ZrN-coated polished titanium (ZrN-Ti) disks were used as substrates and polished titanium (Ti-pol) was used as a control. The specimens were mounted on removable intraoral splints in one adult. After 24 hours and 14 days of intraoral exposure, the microbial biofilms were analyzed by generating 16S rRNA gene clone libraries.
Results: ZrN coating of a Ti surface altered the microbial composition early on (24 hours), with a tendency to augment Lactobacillus-related phylotypes later. Long-term exposure (14 days) of dental implant surfaces to microbes resulted in a significantly different composition of the biofilm on all three tested surfaces.
Conclusions: This preliminary study showed that a ZrN-Ti disk surface harbors a significantly different microbial composition from a polished Ti surface. Further improvement of ZrN physical vapor deposition coatings might help to influence the adhesion of bacteria that are less pathogenic, thereby reducing the risk of peri-implantitis.
Keywords: bacterial adhesion, biofilm, dental implants, DNA cloning, titanium hard coatings, zirconium nitride