Objectives. Volume and bone quality of peri-implant supporting bone, in particular, at implant neck region, as well as bone- implant contact ratio, is important for long-term stability of implants. Ultraviolet-C (UVC) irradiation is known to enhance the osseointegration capability of titanium implants. However, the histological determination was performed only on a rat model, but not pre-clinical animal model such as a rabbit model. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of UVC irradiation on titanium implants on the volume and mineral density of peri-implant supporting bone formation in a rabbit femur model. Materials and methods. Acid-etched pure titanium screw implants with or without 3 mW/cm2 UVC irradiation for 48 h were placed in rabbit femur diaphyses. Peri-implant bone tissue formation was analyzed at 3 and 8 weeks post-operatively by histology and micro-CT-based bone morphometry after calibration with hydroxyl apatite phantoms. Results. UVC pre-irradiated implants accumulated a higher density of cells and thicker and longer bone tissue attachments that continued into the inner basic lamellae of the surface of existing cortical bone at 3 and 8 weeks than the implants without irradiation. Although the bone mineral density around both implants was equivalent to that of the existing cortical bone, bone volume was greater with UVC pre-irradiation in two-thirds or more of the apical region throughout the observation period. Conclusions. These results indicate that UVC treatment increased the volume of cortical-like bone tissue in the coronal region of titanium implants without deterioration of bone mineral density.
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