Scanning Microscopy


Scanning electron microscopy ( SEM) and its associated technologies have proven invaluable in elucidating the interfacial oral tissue responses to dental implants. Since the dental implant must extend from the mandibular or maxillary jaw, through the oral mucosa, and into the oral cavity, these tissue responses include epithelium, connective tissue and bone. The continual occlusal forces acting upon these tissues reinforce the dynamic character of these tissue responses. Immediately upon implantation, a healing phase begins as a response to the implanted biomaterial. Following this immediate response a longer healing phase occurs, beginning approximately 1 week after implantation, resulting in the modeling of bone to the implant as well as the formation of epithelial attachment to the implant. This later, delayed healing continues throughout the lifetime of the implant since these tissues must die and be replaced by similar tissues. Current dental research employing scanning electron microscopy is now documenting these tissue responses. This paper reviews, in detail, SEM observations of these tissue responses.

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