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Volume 21 , Issue 1
January/February 2008

Pages 27–36


Osseointegration and Clinical Success of Zirconia Dental Implants: A Systematic Review

Hans J. Wenz, Dr Med Dent, PhD/Johannes Bartsch, Dr Med Dent/Stefan Wolfart, Dr Med Dent, PhD/ Matthias Kern, Dr Med Dent, PhD


PMID: 18350943

Purpose: Various ceramic implant systems made of yttria–stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystals (Y-TZP) have become commercially available in recent years. A systematic search of the literature was performed to assess the clinical success of dental Y-TZP implants and whether the osseointegration of Y-TZP is comparable to that of titanium, the standard implant material. Materials and Methods: The internet database MEDPILOT was searched cumulatively for the keywords zircon* and dent* and implant as well as for zircon* and osseointegration. The last search was conducted on January 31st, 2007. Subsequently, the reference lists of the relevant publications were searched. Furthermore, a letter was sent to the 5 identified manufacturers of zirconia dental implants to ask for peer-reviewed publications. Results: Ninety-six articles were found by the search strategy. No controlled clinical studies in humans regarding clinical outcomes or osseointegration could be identified. Clinical data were restricted to case studies and case series. Only 7 animal studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Osseointegration was evaluated at 4 weeks to 24 months after placement in different animal models and sites and under different loading conditions. The mean bone-implant contact percentage was above 60% in almost all experimental groups. In studies that used titanium implants as a control, Y-TZP implants were comparable to or even better than titanium implants. Surface modifications may further improve initial bone healing and resistance to removal torque. Conclusions: Y-TZP implants may have the potential to become an alternative to titanium implants but cannot currently be recommended for routine clinical use, as no long-term clinical data are available. Int J Prosthodont 2008;21:27–36.


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