25% of patients with implants suffer from peri-implant diseases

This is revealed in a study carried out by UIC Barcelona and the Dentaid Research Center, which concludes that the monitoring oral biofilm or dental plaque is still the best option to avoid peri-implant diseases, although some coatings with antibacterial properties show lower colonisation and higher bacterial mortality

Peri-implant diseases are oral infections that consist of inflammation of the tissue surrounding dental implants and are very common in the population. According to the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osteointegration (SEPA), 25% of patients with implants placed more than five years ago experience them, and poor oral hygiene is the main risk factor for infections. 

In recent decades. clinical scientific research has led to substantial improvement in the implant surface design and topography, as well as better knowledge of the bone and soft tissue biology, which help prevent infections. However, some modifications that aim to improve implant adaptation to the bone may favour adherence of bacterial biofilm or dental plaque, which increase the probability of developing diseases such as mucositis and peri-implantitis. 

For this reason, UIC Barcelona, through its Bioengineering Institute of Technology and the Faculty of Dentistry, and the Dentaid Research Center, have conducted a study to analyse the effectiveness of the coating with the TESPSA (triethoxysilylpropyl succinic anhydride silane) molecule on different implant surfaces and comparing it with other treatments, with the aim of reducing adhesion of microorganisms and thus providing an antibacterial effect. The research group focused on this molecule as it has the ability to enhance osteoinductive and antibacterial surface properties and surface passivation with citric acid, which resists corrosion and creates a protective layer. 

The biofilm model developed has not shown a clear anti-adhesive and bactericidal difference between surfaces treated with TESPSA or passivation with citric acid, although there has been a tendency to reduced oral biofilm adhesion and increased antibacterial effect in implant coatings treated with TESPSA. 

As Javier Gil, author of the study, researcher at the University’s Bioengineering Institute of Technology and head of the National Peri-implantitis Network granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, points out, “Advances in achieving antibactericidal dental implants require interdisciplinary studies with participation of clinicians, microbiologists and biomaterial specialists.” Thus, he concludes: “There is still a long way to go, but we are moving in the right direction.”

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