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The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants



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Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 35 (2020), No. 3     26. May 2020
Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 35 (2020), No. 3  (26.05.2020)

Page 495-502, doi:10.11607/jomi.8218, PubMed:32406645

An Imbalance of the Immune System Instead of a Disease Behind Marginal Bone Loss Around Oral Implants: Position Paper
Albrektsson, Tomas / Dahlin, Christer / Reinedahl, David / Tengvall, Pentti / Trindade, Ricardo / Wennerberg, Ann
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present evidence that supports the notion that the primary reason behind marginal bone loss and implant failure is immune-based and that bacterial actions in the great majority of problematic cases are of a secondary nature.
Materials and Methods: The paper is written as a narrative review.
Results: Evidence is presented that commercially pure titanium is not biologically inert, but instead activates the innate immune system of the body. For its function, the clinical implant is dependent on an immune/inflammatory defense against bacteria. Biologic models such as ligature studies have incorrectly assumed that the primary response causing marginal bone loss is due to bacterial action. In reality, bacterial actions are secondary to an imbalance of the innate immune system caused by the combination of titanium implants and ligatures, ie, nonself. This immunologic imbalance may lead to marginal bone resorption even in the absence of bacteria.
Conclusion: Marginal bone loss and imminent oral implant failure cannot be properly analyzed without a clear understanding of immunologically caused tissue responses.

Keywords: biomaterials, failure analysis, immunologic reactions, peri-implantitis, review (narrative)