Author(s): Papaioannou W, Quirynen M, Van Steenberghe D
The hypothesis that teeth act as reservoirs of micro-organisms for the colonization of oral implants has recently been stated several times. The present study aimed at examining, in partially edentulous patients with severe periodontitis, whether pockets around teeth and implants harbored a comparable micro-flora. In 6 patients (3 with refractory periodontitis and 3 with advanced chronic adult periodontitis), plaque samples were taken from a deep and shallow pocket around both teeth and implants for differential phase contrast microscopy and DNA probe analysis. The results showed important differences in the sub-gingival flora between the 2 disease groups, as well as between deep and shallow pockets, around both implants and teeth. On the other hand, when pockets around teeth and implants with equal depths were compared a striking similarity was observed in the microbial composition. These observations confirm the hypothesis that pockets around teeth act as a reservoir and highlight the importance of periodontal health when oral implants are planned.