Every year in Germany ca. 1 Million dental implants are implanted. Due to the high bacteria concentration in the mouth and unsuited dental hygiene bacteria infection on the titanium surface of dental implants often happens. The following inflammation of the surrounding tissue (Periimplantitis) leads to the degradation of bone substance directly connected to the implant surface. This results in the loss of the dental implant. The septic hard and soft tissue has to be removed and sterilized by physical-chemical methods and/or by using antibiotics, before a new dental implant can be inserted.
To solve the Periimplantitis-problem, the WTM develops an in-vivo disinfection method of the implant surface. This new electrochemical therapy is based on Boron Doped crystalline Diamond coating (BDD) of the titanium implant surface produced by Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) . BDD electrodes have a very high over-potential (2,5 V) for the oxygen evolution by water electrolysis (1). A BDD anode produces directly OH-radicals at a anodic potential of ca. 2.5 V - 2.7 V, which are very strong oxidation agents and can oxidize all inorganic or organic carbon compounds. This electrochemical oxidation of carbon compounds is well evaluated for sewage water treatment plants and can be used for disinfection of ballast water from overseas ships.
We want to present first results of electrochemical bacteria inactivation (E-coli) with and without biofilm on BDD/titanium surfaces. To prove industrial realisation tooth implants (BEGO, Bremen) where coated with well adhesive Boron doped diamond layers. In spongiosa of pigs bone we can show in-vitro the complete inactivation of Staphylococcus Epidermidis. In contrast to the often-used silver this new disinfection method can be switched off and on only by applying a small amount of electrical power (working potential 4-6 Volt) still years after the implantation.