Keywords: dental implants, implant flossing, implant maintenance, oral hygiene, spongy floss
Purpose: The aim of this preclinical study was to evaluate whether implant flossing could leave floss residues in three different implant-prosthetic conditions.
Materials and methods: Using an anatomical model, three different conditions were studied: correct connection between the implant and abutment and complete insertion of the implant threads into the plaster (control group); misfit of approximately 220 to 230 μm between the implant platform and abutment in the absence of any thread exposure (misfit group); partial exposure of implant threads but absence of misfit (thread group). Twenty-one microstructured tapered threaded implants were divided among the three groups. Each sample was subjected to a flossing procedure using spongy floss, standardized in terms of movement, frequency, time, and pressure. Subsequently, a stereomicroscope examination with a standardized magnification of 10× was performed in order to highlight the possible presence of floss residues on the implant surface.
Results: No floss residue was ever detected for the control group. Both misfit and thread groups showed floss residues that were discernible in two different types: microfilaments and amorphous particles. Statistical analysis showed a significant difference for the presence of floss remnants between the control group and the other two experimental groups (P = .005). No difference was observed between the misfit and thread groups.
Conclusion: This study shows that exposed threads and misfit can induce the release of floss residues during maintenance procedures.