Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate osseointegration of one-piece zirconia vs. titanium implants depending on their insertion depth by histomorphometry.
Material and methods: Four one-piece implants of identical geometry were inserted on each side of six mongrel dogs: (1) an uncoated zirconia implant, (2) a zirconia implant coated with a calcium-liberating titanium oxide coating, (3) a titanium implant and (4) an experimental implant made of a synthetic material (polyetheretherketone). In a split-mouth manner they were inserted in submerged and non-submerged gingival healing modes. After 4 months, dissected blocks were stained with toluidine blue in order to histologically assess the bone-to-implant contact (BIC) rates and the bone levels (BL) of the implants.
Results: All 48 implants were osseointegrated clinically and histologically. Histomorphometrically, BL in the crestal implant part did not differ significantly with regard to material type or healing modality. The submerged coated zirconia implants tended to offer the most stable crestal BL. The histometric results reflected the different healing modes by establishing different BL. The median BIC of the apical implant part of the zirconia and titanium group amounted to 59.2% for uncoated zirconia, 58.3% for coated zirconia, 26.8% for the synthetic material and 41.2% for titanium implants.
Conclusions: Within the limits of this animal study, it is concluded that zirconia implants are capable of establishing close BIC rates similar to what is known from the osseointegration behaviour of titanium implants with the same surface modification and roughness.
To cite this article:
Koch FP, Weng D, Krämer S, Biesterfeld S, Jahn-Eimermacher A, Wagner W. Osseointegration of one-piece zirconia implants compared with a titanium implant of identical design: a histomorphometric study in the dog.
Clin. Oral Impl. Res. 21, 2010; 350–356.