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A Trabecular Metal Implant 4 Months After Placement: Clinical-Histologic Case Report

Spinato, Sergio DDS*; Zaffe, Davide MBioSc; Felice, Pietro MD, DDS; Checchi, Luigi MD, DDS§; Wang, Hom-Lay DDS, MSD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ID.0000000000000020
Clinical Science and Techniques

Introduction: The aim of this case report was to histologically evaluate the behavior of a trabecular metal (TM) implant composed of titanium and spatial 3-dimensional tantalum (Ta) trabeculae. This study is the first human histologic case report of this implant.

Case Presentation: A TM implant was placed in a 54-year-old woman exhibiting moderate chronic periodontitis. After periodontal treatment, the implant was inserted under favorable clinical conditions. Patient was not seen for 4 months because of unrelated breast reduction surgery. At the surgical reopening, periimplant inflammation affecting the coronal third of the implant was observed 4 months after implant placement. With patient’s consent, the implant was removed for histologic analysis. Histology highlighted a greater amount of bone in close contact with Ta trabeculae than titanium surfaces.

Conclusion: The finding of bone formation around the Ta trabeculae suggests that trabecular metal material promotes bone ingrowth for secondary implant stability. Additional evidence is needed to confirm this observation.

*Private Practice, Modena, Italy.

Professor of Human Anatomy, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, Human Morphology Section, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Dentistry Researcher, Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

§Full Professor of Periodontology, Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Collegiate Professor of Periodontology, Professor of Dentistry, Director of Graduate Periodontics, Division of Periodontics, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI.

Reprint requests and correspondence to: Davide Zaffe, MBioSc, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Metaboliche e Neuroscienze, Sezione di Morfologia Umana, Via del pozzo 71, Policlinico, Modena 41124, Italy, Phone: +39 0594224804, Fax: +39 0594224861 E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.