The use of conventional dental implants for orthodontic anchorage is limited by their large size. The purpose of this study was to quantify the histomorphometric properties of the bone-implant interface to analyze the use of small titanium screws as an orthodontic anchorage and to establish an adequate healing period. Overall, successful rigid osseous fixation was achieved by 97% of the 96 implants placed in 8 dogs and 100% of the elastomeric chain-loaded implants. All of the loaded implants remained integrated. Mandibular implants had significantly higher bone-implant contact than maxillary implants. Within each arch, the significant histomorphometric indices noted for the "three-week unloaded" healing group were: increased labeling incidence, higher woven-to-lamellar-bone ratio, and increased osseous contact. Analysis of these data indicates that small titanium screws were able to function as rigid osseous anchorage against orthodontic load for 3 months with a minimal (under 3 weeks) healing period.
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