Titanium as a modifier of the peri-implant microbiome structure

Diane Daubert, Alexander Pozhitkov, Jeffrey McLean, Georgios Kotsakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Recent data support the implication of accelerated titanium dissolution products in peri-implantitis. It is unknown whether these dissolution products have an effect on the peri-implant microbiome, the target of existing peri-implantitis therapies. Purpose: This study assessed the relationship between the peri-implant microbiome, dissolved titanium levels, and peri-implantitis. Materials and Methods: Clinical, microbiome, and titanium data were collected from a periodontal population having implants in function for 10 years. Clinical examinations were performed, and submucosal plaque samples were collected from the deepest site per implant. An aliquot of the sample was used for 16S rRNA gene sequencing, with the remainder analyzed for titanium quantity using mass spectrometry. Sequences were clustered into taxonomic units at 97% minimum sequence similarity using the QIIME pipeline approach. Results: Fifteen implants were assessed. According to established case definitions, six had a diagnosis of peri-implantitis; nine were healthy. The genera Streptococcus, Prevotella and Haemophilus characterized peri-implant health. Peri-implantitis was associated with a marked increase in Veillonella. Quantities of dissolved titanium were identified in 40% of sites. Titanium presence was associated with peri-implant disease status (P =.02) and correlated to the first principal component of the microbiome (rho = 0.552) and its alpha-diversity (rho = −0.496). Canonical correlation analyses found that titanium levels, but not health or disease status of the implant, were significantly associated with the microbiota composition (P =.045). Conclusions: These findings suggest an association between titanium dissolution products and peri-implantitis and support a role for these products in modifying the peri-implant microbiome structure and diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-953
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • bacteria
  • corrosion
  • dental implant
  • microbiome
  • peri-implantitis
  • titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Dentistry(all)


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