.  2023 Dec;27(4):174-181. 10.32542/implantology.2023020.

Implant Surface Changes Observed with Confocal and Electron Microscopy After Probing with Metal and Plastic Periodontal Probes

  • 1Student, Department of Dentistry, Graduate School, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Professor, Department of Dentistry, Graduate School, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Private Practice, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
  • 4Professor, Department of Periodontics, Seoul St Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


Probing around dental implants is recommended for the monitoring of peri-implant tissue health, but there are some risks associated with this procedure. There is a paucity of concrete evidence that contact with periodontal probes may leave remnants or indentations on the implant surface. The objective of this study was to provide visual evidence of the effects of probing around a rough-surface implant with metal and plastic periodontal probes, as assessed by confocal and scanning electron microscopy.
Materials and Methods
Rough surface implants were placed in a pig mandible to simulate 8 mm of peri-implant bone loss. Probing around the entire circumference of the implants was performed using a metal and a plastic periodontal probe. Surface analysis was performed using confocal and scanning electron microscopy.
Confocal microscopy showed plastic remnants left on the thread peaks of the implant. Scanning electron microscopy showed smoothening of the sandblasted and acid-etched implant after probing.
Contact with a periodontal probe leads to changes in the surface of rough-surface implants. The use of plastic probes may leave plastic remnants on the implant surface.


Confocal microscopy; Dental implants; Peri-implantitis; Plastics; Scanning electron microscopy
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