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Osseointegration of zirconia implants compared with titanium : an in vivo study

By Rita Depprich, Holger Zipprich, Michelle Ommerborn, Christian Naujoks, Hans-Peter Wiesmann, Sirichai Kiattavorncharoen, Hans-Christoph (Prof. Dr.) Lauer, Ulrich Meyer, Norbert Kübler and Jörg Handschel


Background Titanium and titanium alloys are widely used for fabrication of dental implants. Since the material composition and the surface topography of a biomaterial play a fundamental role in osseointegration, various chemical and physical surface modifications have been developed to improve osseous healing. Zirconia-based implants were introduced into dental implantology as an altenative to titanium implants. Zirconia seems to be a suitable implant material because of its tooth-like colour, its mechanical properties and its biocompatibility. As the osseointegration of zirconia implants has not been extensively investigated, the aim of this study was to compare the osseous healing of zirconia implants with titanium implants which have a roughened surface but otherwise similar implant geometries. Methods Forty-eight zirconia and titanium implants were introduced into the tibia of 12 minipigs. After 1, 4 or 12 weeks, animals were sacrificed and specimens containing the implants were examined in terms of histological and ultrastructural techniques. Results Histological results showed direct bone contact on the zirconia and titanium surfaces. Bone implant contact as measured by histomorphometry was slightly better on titanium than on zirconia surfaces. However, a statistically significant difference between the two groups was not observed. Conclusion The results demonstrated that zirconia implants with modified surfaces result in an osseointegration which is comparable with that of titanium implants

Topics: ddc:610
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

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