Objective: To assess the impact of overloading on peri-implant bone level and the bone-to-implant contact (BIC) in the presence of healthy or inflamed peri-implant tissues. Materials and methods: Four screw-shaped machined implants were placed bilaterally in the mandible of four beagle dogs and left submerged for 3 months. Prosthetic abutments were connected either in supra-occlusal contact with the opposite teeth (overloaded) or in infra-occlusal position (unloaded). In each dog, cotton floss ligatures were placed unilaterally around abutments to promote plaque accumulation; the contralateral side was brushed three times a week. There were four experimental sites, two implants in each: loaded uninflamed (LU), loaded inflamed (LI), unloaded uninflamed (UU), and unloaded inflamed (UI). Clinical and radiographic parameters were recorded at baseline and every 3 months throughout the observation period. At 12 months, the dogs were sacrificed and histomorphometric analysis was performed. Results: Implants with ligature-induced peri-implantitis presented high inflammatory indices throughout the observation period. Clinical parameters did not change from baseline for both LU and UU. Loading significantly increased the percentage of BIC (BIC%) (P<0.05) and slightly increased crestal bone resorption, but not apical to the implant neck. Both LI and UI groups showed significant peri-implant bone loss (P<0.01), mostly horizontal on the buccal aspect and angular on the lingual aspect, which exposed implant threads. Loading significantly (P<0.05) increased implant thread exposure due to buccal and lingual vertical bone resorption. Conclusions: In the presence of uninflamed peri-implant mucosa, overloading of implants in the dog model increased BIC% and slightly reduced marginal bone level. However, resorption did not progress beyond the implant neck. Overloading aggravated the plaque-induced bone resorption when peri-implant inflammation was present.
- Bone loss
- Oral implant