The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possibility of using damping factor (DF) analysis to provide additional information on osseointegration of dental implants during the healing period. A total of 30 dental implants were installed in the bilateral femoral condyles of 15 rabbits. A DF analyzer detected with an impulse-forced vibration method and a commercialized dental implant stability analyzer based on resonance frequency (RF) analysis were used to measure the implant stability immediately after implant placement and 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks post-surgically. Results of DF and RF analyses at different time points were compared with the corresponding osseointegration performance of dental implants via micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), histological and histomorphometrical analysis. The DF values revealed a decrease with time and reached 0.062 ± 0.007 at 8 weeks after implantation, which is almost 50% lower than the initial value. Moreover, highly significant correlations between DF values and bone volume densities (R2 = 0.9797) and percentages of bone-to-implant contact measured at trabecular bone area (R2 = 0.9773) were also observed. These results suggested that DF analysis combined with RF analysis results in a more sensitive assessment of changes in the dental implant/bone complex during the healing period than RF analysis alone.
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