ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to use scanning electron microscopy (SEM) evaluation to determine the optimal anodizetion conditions needed to generate niobium oxide coatings on titanium alloy dental implant screws. Sand-blasted titanium alloy dental implants were anodized in dilute hydrofluoric acid (HF(aq)) solution using a Sorensen DLM 300-2 power supply. The HF concentration and anodization time were varied and the resulting implant surfaces were evaluated using a Jeol JSM-5310LV Scanning Electron Microscope to determine the ideal anodization conditions. While HF is necessary to facilitate oxide growth, increasing concentrations resulted in proportionate increases in coating delamination. In a similar manner, a minimum anodization time of 1 hour was necessary for oxide growth but longer times produced more delamination especially at higher HF(aq) concentrations. SEM imaging showed that implants anodized for 1 hour in a 0.1% HF(aq) aqueous solution had the best results. Anodization can be used to generate niobium oxide coatings on sand-blasted Ti alloy dental implants by balancing the competing factors of oxide growth and coating delamination. It is believed that these oxide coatings have the potential to improve osseointegration relative to untreated dental implants when evaluated in an in vivo study.
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