Dental implants are used extensively to replace missing teeth. To enhance their integration with the bones of the jaws, the surfaces of titanium dental implants are modified to make them hydrophilic, high energy, and microtextured. These same features make biofilm development occur readily upon exposure to the saliva. The presence of mature biofilms on dental implant surfaces drives local inflammatory responses in the adjacent soft and hard tissues (peri-implantitis), which leads to pathological loss of bone and the formation of a saucer shaped bone defects. This chapter examines the unique challenges posed by biofilms formed on highly complex dental implant surfaces, which are difficult to access for cleaning, and easily damaged by conventional cleaning approaches. We explore how biofilms can be removed from implant surfaces using a variety of novel methods, without causing surface damage or other undesirable modifications, and show how different laboratory and clinical models can be used to assess the performance of both conventional and novel methods of biofilm removal.
Part of the book: Microbial Biofilms