Purpose: The aim of this work was to evaluate osseointegration of endosteal implants with two different surface treatments at early stages (~3 weeks) in the tibia of healthy and ovariectomized rabbits.
Keywords: dental implants, osseointegration, osteoporosis, surface treatment
Materials and Methods: The study comprised 10 adult New Zealand female rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus; 6 months and 3.0 ± 0.5 kg). Five animals were subjected to bilateral ovariectomy to mimic osteoporotic-like conditions, and the remaining rabbits (n = 5) served as the healthy control group. After 3 months, specimens from the ovariectomized and control groups were subject to implant placement in both tibiae, using two different types of surface treatment. A total of 36 implants were placed, n = 18 acid-etched and n = 18 anodized. After 3 weeks, euthanasia of the animals was performed, and samples were obtained for processing. Bone-to-implant contact and bone area fraction occupancy were quantified to evaluate the osseointegration parameters around the implant surface and within the thread area, respectively, and nanoindentation tests were performed to determine elastic modulus and hardness of the new bone. Both analyses were performed on the entire implant (total), as well as individually within the cortical and bone marrow cavity area.
Results: All animals were evaluated with no signs of infection or postoperative complications. The total bone-to-implant contact and bone area fraction occupancy results, independent of surface treatment, yielded significant differences between the ovariectomized and control groups (P = .002 and P < .001, respectively). In the marrow cavity, analyzing the surface treatments independently as a function of bone condition, the only differences detected were in the anodized treatment (P = .04). Regarding the elastic modulus, differences were detected only with the anodized implants between the ovariectomized and control groups (P = .015).
Conclusion: At 3 weeks after implant placement, there were better osseointegration values of the implants in the healthy control group compared with the ovariectomized group independent of surface treatment. Also, specifically in the medullary region of the rabbit tibia, the acid-etched implants had more uniform osseointegration values in conditions of low-quality bone in comparison to the anodized implants, histomorphometrically and biomechanically.