The biointegration of dental and orthopaedic implants depends mainly on the morphology and physical-chemical properties of their surfaces. Accordingly, the development of the desired microstructure is a relevant requirement in the bulk manufacture. Besides the widely used sandblasting plus acid etching and plasma-spray coating techniques, the laser surface modification method offers a plausible alternative. In order to analyze the influence of the laser treatment, the surfaces of titanium samples were exposed to excimer laser irradiation. The aim of this study was to develop surfaces that provide optimal conditions for bone-implant contact, bone growth, formation and maintenance of gingival attachment. For this purpose, holes were ablated on the surface of samples by nanosecond (18 ns, ArF) and also sub-picosecond (0,5 ps, KrF) laser pulses. Using pulses of ns length, due to melt ejection, crown-like protrusions were formed at the border of the holes, which made them sensitive to mechanical effects. To avoid these undesirable crown-like structures ultrashort KrF excimer laser pulses were successfully applied. On the other hand, titanium samples were laser-polished in favour of formation and connection of healthy soft tissues. Irradiation by a series of nanosecond laser pulses resulted in an effective smoothening as detected by atomic force microscopy (AFM). By inhibiting plaque accumulation this favours formation of gingival attachment. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) studies showed that laser treatment, in addition to micro-structural and morphological modification, results in decreasing of surface contamination and thickening of the oxide layer. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis revealed that the original alpha-titanium crystalline structure of the laser-polished titanium surface was not altered by the irradiation.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2004|
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