OBJECTIVE To evaluate in vitro the quality of dental implant biopsies collected using trephines or a sonic instrument. METHOD Sixty implants, 4 mm long and 2.4 mm in diameter, were installed in twelve fresh bovine ribs. Biopsies were collected after using three different methods for retrieval, 20 biopsies representing each group: (A) A trephine used concentrically; (B) a trephine used eccentrically; and (C) a sonic device (Sonosurgery(®) ). The time used for biopsy collection was recorded, and an evaluation of the quality of the biopsies obtained was performed. The specimens were subsequently prepared for ground sections, and tissue-to-implant contact percentages (TIC%) were evaluated in a stereomicroscope. RESULTS Time needed for biopsy collection in Groups A and B was between 2 and 3 min, while in C, it amounted to 10-11 min. The differences between Group C and the other two groups were statistically significant (P < 0.00006). Group C showed significantly greater volumes of tissue around the apex of the implants compared with the other two groups (P < 0.027). Groups A and C showed biopsies with higher quality compared with Group B (P < 0.05). Group C presented a higher TIC% compared with the other two groups (P < 0.008). CONCLUSION Compared with the use of trephines, the use of a sonic device for harvesting biopsies resulted in higher-quality biopsies and generated smaller residual defects. However, the harvesting was more time-consuming and was limited to one aspect of the implants.