This preliminary study investigates the differences between experimental periodontitis and periimplantitis in a dog model, with a focus on the histopathology, the inflammatory responses and specific immunoregulatory activities, driven by Th1/Th2 positive cells. Twelve dental implants were inserted into the edentulated posterior mandibles of six Beagle dogs and were given twelve weeks time for osseointegration. Experimental periimplantitis and periodontitis (first mandible molar) was then induced using cotton-floss ligatures. Twelve weeks later, alveolar bones were quantitated by cone beam-computer tomography. Histopathological analysis of the inflamed gingiva and of the periodontal tissues was performed by light microscopy, and the Th1/ Th2 cell populations were investigated by flow cytometry. Periimplantitis as well as periodontitis were both found to be associated with pronounced bone resorption effects, both to a similar degree vertically, but with a differential bone resorption pattern mesio-distally, and with a significantly higher and consistent bone resorption result in periimplantitis; however, with a higher variance of bone resorption in periodontitis. The histological appearances of the inflammatory tissues were identical. The percentages of Th1/ Th2 cells in the inflamed gingival tissues of both experimental periimplantitis and periodontitis were also found to be similar. Experimental periodontitis and periimplantitis in the dog model show essentially the same cellular pathology of inflammation. However, bone resorption was found to be significantly higher in periimplantitis; the histopathological changes in the periodontal tissues were similar in both groups, but showed a higher inter-individual variation in periodontitis, and appeared more uniform in periimplantitis. This preliminary study indicates that more focused experimental in-vivo inflammation models need to be developed to better simulate the human pathology in the two different diseases, and in order to have a valuable tool to investigate more specifically how novel treatments/prevention approaches may heal the differential adverse effects on bone tissue and on periodontium in periodontitis and in periimplantitis.

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