The effect of surface roughness on early in vivo plaque colonization on titanium

Lia Rimondini, Silvia Farè, Eugenio Brambilla, Andrea Felloni, Claudio Consonni, Francesco Brossa, Antonio Carrassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study assesses in vivo the surface roughness necessary to reduce plaque colonization on titanium after 24 hours. Three groups of 16 titanium disks were assigned to 3 different polishing groups (A, B, and C). The roughness was evaluated with a laser profilometer and the morphology with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Eight volunteers were enrolled and two stents were applied in the mandibular posterior region of each. Each stent supported 3 disks, one per group. The volunteers suspended oral hygiene for 24 hours, after which the stents were removed; one was processed for evaluation of the adherent biomass and the other for SEM study. On each specimen a global area of 100 x 125 μm was examined with SEM. The area was composed of five 20 x 25 μm randomly selected fields. For each field the density of bacteria and the morphotypes were recorded. The data quoted for the global area are cumulative of those observed in the 20 x 25 μm fields. Group A had a significantly smoother surface than groups B and C. The adherent microbial biomass determination and SEM evaluation revealed that group A contained less bacteria than the roughest group. The bacterial population was composed of cocci in group A, and of cocci and short and long rods in groups B and C. We conclude that a titanium surface with Ra ≤ 0.088 μm and Rz ≤ 1.027 μm strongly inhibits accumulation and maturation of plaque at the 24-hour time period and that such smoothness can be achieved in transgingival and healing implant components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-562
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


  • Dental implants
  • Dental plaque/microbiology
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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