Thin calcium phosphate (Ca-P) coatings have been introduced to overcome the shortcomings of plasma-sprayed Ca-P coatings. In our previous experiments, thin Ca-P coatings also enabled the immobilization of bisphosphonate, which is a drug used to treat osteoporosis. The present study was designed to evaluate the bone response to titanium implants treated with a thin Ca-P coating and bisphosphonate. Forty cylindrical commercially pure titanium implants with a length of 7mm and a diameter of 3mm were used as test implant fixtures. Three groups of surface-treated implants were prepared: (1) blasted with titanium powder and etched with a solution of 10% HF+5% HNO3(control); (2) modified with 0.5-μm thick Ca-P coatings and rapid heat-treating, and (3) immobilized with bisphosphonate by immersion in pamidronate disodium solution (10-2M) for 24h at 37°C. These surface-treated implants were inserted into edentulous areas in the mandibular molar region of five beagle dogs. After implantation periods of 4 and 12 weeks, the bone-implant interface was evaluated histologically and histomorphometrically. All measurements were statistically evaluated using a one-way ANOVA and Fisher PLSD test for multiple comparisons among the means. Four weeks after the implantation, higher percentage of bone contact was found around the thin Ca-P-coated implants compared to that of the control group. The highest percentage of bone contact was found around the bisphosphonate-immobilized implants after 12 weeks of implantation. These data suggest that a thin coating of calcium phosphate followed by bisphosphonate-immobilization is effective in the promotion of osteogenesis on surfaces of dental implants. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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