International journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery

A comparison of biocompatibility and osseointegration of ceramic and titanium implants: an in vivo and in vitro study.

PMID 22406235


This study compared the biocompatibility in vitro and the osseointegration in vivo of zirconium and titanium implants regarding implant surfaces and the bone-implant contacts. The different implant surfaces and the biocompatibility of zirconium versus titanium implants were determined by vitality and cytotoxic tests in vitro. The contact of the osteoblasts to the implant surface was determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The in vivo study for osseointegration was performed in domestic pigs over 4 and 12 weeks. In each animal, 4 zirconium and 4 titanium implants (WhiteSky, BlueSky, Bredent, Germany) were inserted in the os frontale and analysed by histomorphometry. Cytotoxicity and SEM showed good biocompatibility in relation to the investigated implant materials. Histological results showed direct bone-implant contact of the implant surfaces. The zirconium implants showed a slight delay in osseointegration in terms of bone-implant contact as measured by histomorphometry (after 4 weeks, zirconium (59.3 ± 4.6%) versus titanium (64.1 ± 3.9%); after 12 weeks, zirconium (67.1 ± 2.3%) versus titanium (73.6 ± 3.2%). A statistically significant difference between the two groups was not observed. The results indicated similar biocompatibility and osseointegration for zirconium compared to titanium implants.