Ultrastructural examination of the morphology and morphometry of the bone supporting uncoated titanium and ceramic implants was assessed in an experimental animal model involving 120 implants placed into the mandibles of 30 adult mongrel dogs. Further, preliminary morphologic and morphometric observations of the bone supporting uncoated and hydroxylapatite-coated endosteal titanium implants was evaluated in a second investigation involving 72 implants placed into the mandibles and maxillae of 6 additional dogs. A densely mineralized collagen fiber matrix was observed directly interfacing with uncoated implants. The only material interposed between the implant and bone matrix was a 20- to 50-nm electron-dense material suggestive of a proteoglycan. Also seen in these same osseointegrated implants were narrow unmineralized zones interposed between the implant and bone matrix. In these zones of remodeling bone, numerous osteoblasts were observed interacting with the collagen fiber matrix. It was shown that a normal homeostasis of anabolic osteoblastic activity and catabolic osteoclastic activity resulted in bone remodeling and the resultant osseointegration of the implants. Hydroxylapatite-coated implants intimately interfaced with healthy bone. The mineralized matrix extended into the microporosity of the HA coating. This matrix contained viable osteocytes.
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