Purpose: To investigate various cleaning protocols employed to enable the reuse of healing abutments in the past decade.
Keywords: cleaning effectiveness, decontamination, healing abutment, reuse, surface properties
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors report no conflicts of interest relating to this study.
Materials and methods: The review followed the guidelines set out in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement, with guidance from the Cochrane Collaboration Handbook. Electronic searching and handsearching were performed using the National Library of Medicine (MEDLINE via PubMed) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from January 2010 to July 2022, respectively. Studies published in English were evaluated. Two independent examiners conducted the search and the review process. The risk of bias of the included studies was evaluated.
Results: In total, 178 articles were evaluated for review, but only 15 of them were selected for full-text reading. Regarding cleaning efficacy, chemical decontamination using sodium hypochlorite produced better results than laser and mechanical decontamination with airflow. Similar efficacy was found between chemical and electrochemical decontamination. Combined use of chemical and electrochemical decontamination protocols demonstrated the greatest efficacy. Chemical and electrochemical decontamination methods were found to achieve better outcomes in preserving the surface properties of decontaminated healing abutments than laser and mechanical methods.
Conclusion: The present review found that combined decontamination protocols (chemical, electrochemical processing and autoclave treatment) are favourable for obtaining healing abutments with optimally cleaned surfaces. Moreover, healing abutments located in an area that is difficult to access can be cleaned without affecting the surface properties. This information could benefit researchers and clinicians when multiple-use healing abutments are considered.