Release of elements from retrieved maxillofacial plates and screws.

Research paper by C C Bertoldi, J M JM Pradelli, U U Consolo, D D Zaffe

Indexed on: 17 Sep '05Published on: 17 Sep '05Published in: Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine


Vitallium appliances and surrounding tissues were investigated to evaluate the release and accumulation of elements. Four microplates, sixteen screws and surrounding tissues were removed from three patients presenting inflammation 4 to 6 years after surgery and were submitted to SEM and X-ray microprobe analysis. Histology was performed on paraffin or PMMA sections of tissues.A continuous release of elements from metallic appliances into soft tissues was observed. Cobalt, chromium, and nickel were detected in soft and boney tissues in close proximity to the appliance. Aluminium, as a component of screw coatings, accumulated in soft tissues, and a remarkable amount of aluminium was detected in the dense lamella of lamellar bone. The results suggest that coatings containing aluminium should be avoided and the time these appliances are allowed to remain in patients should be shortened. Further studies on element release and the fate of aluminium in bone are warranted.