To evaluate in vitro topographical and composition changes by piezoelectric ultrasonic instrumentation with metallic and plastic tips on machined and moderately roughened titanium surfaces.


Twenty machined and moderately roughened laser-marked titanium discs were ultrasonically instrumented with metallic and plastic tips. Surface instrumentation was carried out with controlled pressure for 20 and 30 seconds at two power settings. For each time and power setting, instrumentation was repeated four times with one instrumentation per disc quadrant. Surface topography analysis was performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Surface roughness measurements were compared between instrumented and non-instrumented surfaces. Surface element composition and rinsing solutions were evaluated using energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and trace elemental analysis using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS), respectively.


SEM photomicrographs and CLSM 3D surface plot images of instrumented machined and moderately roughened surfaces demonstrated severe surface topographical alterations with metallic tips and mild to moderate changes for plastic tip instrumented sites. ICPMS analysis of the rinsing solutions identified titanium and other metal traces with the use of metallic tips, and mainly titanium and carbon when plastic tips were used. Surface EDS analysis showed elemental traces of the ultrasonic tips.


Ultrasonic instrumentation with metallic or plastic tips created surface topographical and compositional changes. Different changes in surface topography were noted between the surfaces, as the roughness of the machined surfaces increased while the extent of roughness of the moderately roughened surfaces decreased. The clinical relevance of these changes is yet to be determined.

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