Defects were created in the mandible of a rabbit model whereby the right side was implanted with hydroxyapatite (HA) while the left side was left empty to act as control. Both the implant and control sites were evaluated clinically and histologically at 4,12,20,22 weeks. Decalcified sections were studied under confocal laser scanning microscope. No reactive cells were evident microscopically in all sections. There was bone ingrowth as early as 4 weeks when viewed by the topographic method. Enhancement of osteoconduction was evident by the presence of abundant capillaries, perivascular tissue and osteoprogenitor cells of the host. At 22 weeks, the implanted defect showed mature bone formation filling almost the whole field. This study demonstrated that the dense HA exhibits excellent biocompatibility as noted by the complete absence of reactive cells. It also promotes osteoconduction.
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