Implant Revision, NiTi Brush Debridement and Regrafting

Dental Implant restorations even with high-quality dental implants can present for revision. Peri-implantitis is one of the main concerns as is sclerotic bone associated with fibrous encapsulation of some types of non-resorbing processed graft materials.


peri-implantitis and NiTi brushes

Peri-implantitis is a plaque-associated condition around an implant that results in a breakdown of the supporting tissues. Peri-implant-affected sites exhibit bleeding on probing and/or suppuration with increased probing depths and/or recession and can progress to bone loss. If untreated the disease progresses in a nonlinear pattern and leads to implant loss (1).

Dr Greg Steiner, D.D.S., M.S (California) – an expert in tissue engineering reports a peri-implant inflammation associated with residual cadaver graft particles, that results in sclerotic bone seen radiographically. This bone loss is complicated by the creation of a defect adjacent to the implant that becomes infected as a secondary event. Dr Steiner recommends avoiding cadaver-derived bone grafts adjacent to an implant surface as fibrous encapsulation of remnant particles results in a low bone-to-implant contact.

NiTi decontamination brushes.

The most important preparatory steps before regenerating bone is to mechanically (sometimes chemically) decontaminate the implant surface completely and remove granulation and unhealthy hard tissues from the surface and surrounding site.

NiTi decontamination brushes provide significantly greater reductions of initial PD and stable bone levels compared with plastic curettes or air-abrasive devices (2) and are an efficient and intuitive way to remove plaque, calculus, and other foreign body material from the implant surface.   

What is NiTi and what are they?

NiTi stands for Nickel Titanium and refers to the filaments used on the debridement brushes. NiTi Nickel titanium, also known as nitinol, is a metal alloy of nickel and titanium, where the two elements are present in roughly equal percentages. For Dentistry, NiTi Brushes are available in a variety of types such as:

NiTi brushes
  • ICB-1. Wide-spread filaments that are suitable for all cases even if space is limited.
  • ICB-2. A medium fan of filaments for cleaning peri-implant surfaces with effective access to pockets.
  • ICB-3. Narrow filament brush for very precise and targeted cleaning – especially between threads or around micro threads on an implant neck.
  • ICB-4. Extended reach with dense NiTi fibres
  • ICB-1234. A set to access all areas.
peri-implantitis and niti brushes

Each brush is attached to the handpiece and is moved rotationally along the circumference of the implant. Using a speed of 500-1000 rpm and a torque of 50Ncm with irrigation each brush adapts closely to the implant architecture due to its flexibility to provide even, effective and time-saving debridement compared to past protocols.

Immediately after re-grafting, in this case with Dental Putty, the graft particles appear dense and easy to see. Three weeks later, regeneration of new bone is underway and the site has new vascularity making the graft less well defined. At 3 months, mineralization of the graft is occurring, particles are reduced in size with graft resorption occurring at the edges.

Loading increases bone turnover and accelerates the remodelling of fully resorbable grafts.

Regen Store at Restore Surgical supplies NiTi brushes from UK stock. They can be purchased online at the following link:

Regen Store at Restore Surgical supplies a variety of fully resorbing Powerbone graft materials some of which are ideal for mixing with antibiotics. These can be purchased online at the following link:

1. Ramanauskaite and Schwarz. Surgical Management of Peri-implantitis. Curr Oral Health Rep 7, 283–303 (2020). 
2. Toma S, Brecx MC, Lasserre JF. Clinical evaluation of three surgical modalities in the treatment of Peri-Implantitis: a randomized controlled clinical trial. J Clin Med. 2019;8(7):966.