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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6792972, 10 pages
Research Article

One-Piece Zirconia Ceramic versus Titanium Implants in the Jaw and Femur of a Sheep Model: A Pilot Study

1School of Dentistry and Health Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia
2Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
3Discipline of Paediatric Dentistry, School of Oral Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia

Received 11 August 2016; Revised 17 October 2016; Accepted 8 November 2016

Academic Editor: Adriana Bigi

Copyright © 2016 A. Siddiqi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reports have documented titanium (Ti) hypersensitivity after dental implant treatment. Alternative materials have been suggested including zirconia (Zr) ceramics, which have shown predictable osseointegration in animal studies and appear free of immune responses. The aim of the research was to investigate the bone-to-implant contact (BIC) of one-piece Zr, compared with one-piece Ti implants, placed in the jaws and femurs of domestic sheep. Ten New Zealand mixed breed sheep were used. A One-piece prototype Ti (control) and one Zr (test) implant were placed in the mandible, and one of each implant (Ti and Zr) was placed into the femoral epicondyle of each animal. The femur implants were submerged and unloaded; the mandibular implants were placed using a one-stage transgingival protocol and were nonsubmerged. After a healing period of 12 weeks, %BIC was measured. The overall survival rate for mandibular and femur implants combined was 87.5%. %BIC was higher for Zr implants versus Ti implants in the femur (85.5%, versus 78.9%) (). Zirconia implants in the mandible showed comparable %BIC to titanium implants (72.2%, versus 60.3%) (). High failure rate of both Zr and Ti one-piece implants in the jaw could be attributed to the one-piece design and surface characteristics of the implant that could have influenced osseointegration. Further clinical trials are recommended to evaluate the performance of zirconia implants under loading conditions.