Micro-architecture and mineralization of the human alveolar bone obtained with microCT

Y. Blok, F.A. Gravestijn, L.J. van Ruijven, J.H. Koolstra

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The primary dental implant stability depends on the location of the implant in the jaw. This study analysed the architecture and mineralization of the trabecular bone at different jaw locations and thereby identified potential prognostic factors for implant failure. It has checked the hypotheses: (1) the mandible contains more compact and less mineralized trabecular bone than the maxilla and (2) within the mandible the trabecular bone is more compact and less mineralized in the anterior region.

Alveolar bone specimens were produced from the cadavers of ten humans (7 males and 3 females; mean age: 73.7 ± 12.5 years) and scanned with a high-resolution microCT system. Volumes of interest were chosen next to the roots of molars and incisors in both the maxilla and mandible. Several morphological parameters as well as the tissue mineral density were determined.

The alveolar bone specimens had a very high bone volume fraction (mean = 0.31) with large differences (SD = 0.17) between and within subjects. Yet several significant differences were found between the maxilla and the mandible. The bone volume fraction and trabecular thickness were significantly higher in the mandible than in the maxilla (p < 0.01). But the tissue mineral density was not significantly different.

A higher primary implant stability coincides with a higher bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy Although local differences remain more important for implantology, the results suggest that the micro-structure also affects the implant stability. The tissue mineral density seems to have no predictive value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-627
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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