Thirty years of translational research in zirconia dental implants: A systematic review of the literature

Allauddin Siddiqi, Abdul Samad Khan, Sobia Zafar

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Thirty years of transitional research in zirconia (Zr) ceramics has led to significant improvements in the biomedical field, especially in dental implantology. Oral implants made of yttria-tetragonal zirconia polycrystals (Y-TZP) because of their excellent mechanical properties, good biocompatibility, and esthetically acceptable color have emerged as an attractive metal-free alternative to titanium (Ti) implants. The aim of the review was to highlight the translation research in Zr dental implants that has been conducted over the past 3 decades using preclinical animal models. A computer search of electronic databases, primarily PubMed, was performed with the following key words: ‘‘zirconia ceramics AND animal trials,’’ ‘‘ceramic implants AND animal trials,’’ ‘‘zirconia AND animal trials,’’ ‘‘zirconia AND in vivo animal trials,’’ without any language restriction. However, the search was limited to animal trials discussing percentage bone-implant contact (%BIC) around zirconia implants/discs. This search resulted in 132 articles (reviews, in vivo studies, and animal studies) of potential interest. We restricted our search terms to ‘‘zirconia/ceramic,’’ ‘‘bone-implant-contact,’’ and ‘‘animal trials’’ and found 29 relevant publications, which were then selected for full-text reading. Reasons for exclusion included the article’s not being an animal study, being a review article, and not discussing %BIC around Zr implants/discs. Most of the studies investigated BIC around Zr in rabbits (30%), pigs (approximately 20%), dogs, sheep, and rats. This review of the literature shows that preclinical animal models can be successfully used to investigate osseointegration around Zr ceramics. Results of the reviewed studies demonstrated excellent %BIC around Zr implants. It should be noted that most of the studies investigated %BIC/removal torque under nonloading conditions, and results would have been somewhat different in functional loading situations because of inherent limitations of Zr ceramics. Further trials are needed to evaluate the performance of Zr ceramics in clinical conditions using implants designed and manufactured via novel techniques that enhance their biomechanical properties.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)314-326
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Oral Implantology
    Issue number4
    Early online date2017
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


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