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Quintessence Int 49 (2018), No. 6     14. May 2018
Quintessence Int 49 (2018), No. 6  (14.05.2018)

Page 497-509, doi:10.3290/j.qi.a40289, PubMed:29756133


Biology of teeth and implants: Host factors - pathology, regeneration, and the role of stem cells
Eggert, F.-Michael / Levin, Liran
In chronic periodontitis and peri-implantitis, cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems are involved directly in the lesions within the tissues of the patient. Absence of a periodontal ligament around implants does not prevent a biologic process similar to that of periodontitis from affecting osseointegration. Our first focus is on factors in the biology of individuals that are responsible for the susceptibility of such individuals to chronic periodontitis and to peri-implantitis. Genetic factors are of significant importance in susceptibility to these diseases. Genetic factors of the host affect the composition of the oral microbiome in the same manner that they influence other microbiomes, such as those of the intestines and of the lungs. Our second focus is on the central role of stem cells in tissue regeneration, in the functioning of innate and adaptive immune systems, and in metabolism of bone. Epithelial cell rests of Malassez (ERM) are stem cells of epithelial origin that maintain the periodontal ligament as well as the cementum and alveolar bone associated with the ligament. The tissue niche within which ERM are found extends into the supracrestal areas of collagen fiber-containing tissues of the gingivae above the bony alveolar crest. Maintenance and regeneration of all periodontal tissues involves the activity of a variety of stem cells. The success of dental implants indicates that important groups of stem cells in the periodontium are active to enable that biologic success. Successful replantation of avulsed teeth and auto-transplantation of teeth is comparable to placing dental implants, and so must also involve periodontal stem cells. Biology of teeth and biology of implants represents the biology of the various stem cells that inhabit specialized niches within the periodontal tissues. Diverse biologic processes must function together successfully to maintain periodontal health. Osseointegration of dental implants does not involve formation of cementum or collagen fibers inserted into cementum - indicating that some stem cells are not active around dental implants or their niches are not available. Investigation of these similarities and differences between teeth and implants will help to develop a better understanding of the biology and physiologic functioning of the periodontium.

Keywords: bone, bone loss, dental implants, gingival health, plaque, stem cells