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Volume 33 , Issue 5
September/October 2013

Pages 669–677


Soft Tissue Healing at One-Piece Zirconia Implants Compared to Titanium and PEEK Implants of Identical Design: A Histomorphometric Study in the Dog

Felix Peter Koch, MD, DMD, MBA, PhD/Dietmar Weng, DDS, MSc, PhD/Sonja Krämer, DMD/Wilfried Wagner, MD, DMD, PhD


PMID: 23998163
DOI: 10.11607/prd.1043

This study aimed to histomorphometrically evaluate the soft tissue reactions of one-piece zirconia implants versus titanium implants in regard to their insertion depth. Four one-piece implants of identical geometry were inserted on each side of six mongrel dogs: an uncoated zirconia implant, a zirconia implant coated with a calcium liberating titanium oxide, a titanium implant, and an experimental implant made of a synthetic material. Using a split-mouth design, they were inserted in both submerged and nonsubmerged healing modes. After 4 months, dissected blocks were stained with toluidine blue to histologically assess the marginal portion of the implant mucosa, apical extension of the barrier epithelium, and margin level of bone-to-implant contact. The inflammation status at the crestal part of the implant was assessed as well. The histomorphology presented the typical soft tissue configuration of barrier epithelium and connective tissue near the bone-to-implant contact. Histomorphometrically, the length of the barrier epithelium did not differ significantly concerning material type or healing modality. Furthermore, the inflammation signs were higher with nonsubmerged implants. The submerged uncoated zirconia implants, however, showed few signs of inflammation. Within the limits of this study, it is concluded that uncoated and coated zirconia implants are capable of establishing sufficient soft tissue configurations that are comparable to those of titanium implants. (Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2013;33:669–677. doi: 10.11607/prd.1043)


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