Dental implants made of pure titanium suffer from abrasion and scratch during routine oral hygiene procedures. This results in an irreversible surface damage, facilitates bacteria adhesion and increases risk of peri-implantitis. To overcome these problems, titanium nitride (TiN) coating was introduced to increase surface hardness of pure titanium. However, the osteoconductivity of TiN is considered to be similar or superior to that of titanium and its alloys and therefore surface modification is necessary. In this study, TiN coating prepared through gas nitriding was partially oxidized by hydrothermal (HT) treatment and ozone (O3) treatment in pure water to improve its osteoconductivity. The effects of HT treatment and O3 treatment on surface properties of TiN were investigated and the osteoconductivity after undergoing treatment was assessed in vitro using osteoblast evaluation. The results showed that the critical temperature for HT treatment was 100°C since higher temperatures would impair the hardness of TiN coating. By contrast, O3 treatment was more effective in oxidizing TiN surfaces, improving its wettability while preserving its morphology and hardness. Osteoblast attachment, proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) expression and mineralization were improved on oxidized specimens, especially on O3 treated specimens, compared with untreated ones. These effects seemed to be consequences of partial oxidation, as well as improved hydrophilicity and surface decontamination. Finally, it was concluded that, partially oxidized TiN is a promising coating to be used for dental implant.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.