Thermal treatment may reverse the osseointegration of implants and could become an atraumatic controlled method for implant removal in the future. The aim of this non-random in vitro study was to empirically identify suitable sources for a controlled heating process, in order to generate a homogenous temperature distribution at a threshold level of 47°C for future in vivo research. Two different set-ups evaluating four different sources (water, laser, monopolar and an electrical joule heater device) were used to carry out infrared measurements and numerical calculations at 47°C along the implant axis and along the periimplant area at the axial plane. Furthermore, required time intervals to heat up the implant tip from 33°C to 47°C were determined. The monopolar electric device led to the most uneven and unpredictable implant heating and was therefore excluded. The thermal analysis suggested identical thermal distributions without any significant differences for water and electrical joule sources with a heat maximum at the implant shoulder (p > 0.05). On the other hand, the laser device may produce the temperature maximum in the middle of the implant without any afterglow effect (p < 0.01). When the implant was heated from 33°C up to 47°C, the water device indicated the fastest approach. Thermal distributions of water and laser sources may be suitable for clinical applications. For future research the numerical analysis may suggests an ideal time interval of 120s to 180s for a homogenous implant temperature of 47°C.

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