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
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.