The objective of this study was to evaluate osseointegration of surface-treated zirconia dental implants using a mini-pig model. Experimentally, zirconia implants with acid-etched surfaces and commercial titanium implants as a control group were introduced into the maxilla and mandible of nine mini-pigs. After 8 and 16 weeks, animals were sacrificed and harvested specimens were examined in terms of resonance frequency analysis, micro-computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy and Masson Goldner staining techniques. The parameters calculated for each section included bone to implant volume (BIV%) and actual bone-implant contact (BIC%). All results were expressed as means ± standard deviations. The different treatment groups were compared using paired t tests. A p < 0.05 was set for significance. Histological results showed that close contact of the bone to implant was seen both on titanium and zirconia surfaces. After 8 weeks of healing, hard tissue integration of the zirconia as well as the titanium implants was achieved. Bone implant contact as measured by histomorphometry was similar across titanium and zirconia-modified surfaces; a statistically significant difference between the two groups was not observed. The results demonstrated that zirconia implants with modified surfaces result in osseointegration that is comparable with that of titanium implants. Additionally, the results from our study suggest that zirconia implants with modified surfaces display good features of osseointegration. Especially into the bone loss maxilla.
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