Journal of Dental Implants

: 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39--42

Zirconia versus titanium dental implants: A systematic review

Rahul Patil 
 Department of Prosthodontics, SDDC dental college, parbhani, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Rahul Patil
B-208, Mansarovar, Chincholi Phatak, Malad West, Mumbai - 400 064, Maharashtra


Esthetics has taken a prime position in dentistry today.People are getting more diverged to tooth coloured materials for good esthetics.This article stresses on newer metal free implant materials which have been developed due to increased demand for improved esthetics and biocompatibility along with the preference among the general population for non-metal implant materials.

How to cite this article:
Patil R. Zirconia versus titanium dental implants: A systematic review.J Dent Implant 2015;5:39-42

How to cite this URL:
Patil R. Zirconia versus titanium dental implants: A systematic review. J Dent Implant [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Nov 29 ];5:39-42
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Esthetics has taken a prime position in dentistry today. People are getting more diverged to tooth-colored materials for good esthetics. This article stresses on newer metal free implant materials that have been developed due to increased demand for improved esthetics and

biocompatibility along with the preference among the general population for nonmetal implant materials.

What are metal free implants?

Implants made of nonmetal materials usually placed in the esthetic zone. Ceramic tooth implants, specifically known as zirconium or zirconia dental implants, are one of these newer forms of dental implants. They are tooth-colored, compatible with oral tissues and made of the hardest stuff next to diamonds [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

What are zirconium/zirconia/ceramic dental implants?

Zirconium oxide

It is a metal oxide identified in 1789 by German Chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth. Zirconium oxide is ivory in color making it similar to the color of the natural tooth, which is important for restoring teeth in the mouth especially in the anterior region [Figure 2],[Figure 3]. In addition, its ability to transmit light makes zirconia a suitable material for esthetics. Zirconium oxide implants have outstanding mechanical properties, good stability, a high biocompatibility and a high resistance to scratching and corrosion. [1]{Figure 2}{Figure 3}


Zirconia evolved as: [2]

Sandhaus-first to report on aluminum oxide ceramic implants1976 Schulte and Heimke - aluminum oxide Tubingen implant1987 Sandhaus - Cerasand system1988 Kyocera - Bioceram system1990 Muller, Piesold and Glien - Bionit implant system1993-1999 Akagawa, Dubruille - first to try zirconia implants experimentally2004 Kohal and Klaus-first case of zirconia implant.


Zirconium oxide [3]

Good chemical and dimensional stability [Figure 4]No effect of magnetic fieldsMechanical strength and toughness similar to stainless steel alloysNo cytotoxic effects on cellsPoor chemical and electric conductorLow porosityHigh densityHigh compressive strength.{Figure 4}

What are the advantages of zirconia dental implants? [4]

Excellent esthetics as metal free [Figure 5]Natural white colorBiocompatiblePreservation of boneBetter gingival health [Figure 6]NeutralFirst choice in patients with titanium allergy.{Figure 5}{Figure 6}

Zirconia as biomaterial

Results on fibroblasts, lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, connective tissue, immunologic and bone tissues revealed that the various forms of zirconia tested on in vitro tissues do not induce any adverse reaction or global toxic effects. [5]

Microbiological analysis

The prevalence of cocci, few short rods, and no long rods on ZrO 2 surfaces were suggestive of an immature plaque which shows that early adhesion/colonization of bacteria on zirconia surfaces was significantly less compared to titanium, which proves that zirconia and its derivatives have the capacity to reduce plaque on implant and tissues, favoring better soft tissue healing and implant success at bone level. [6]

Zirconia dental implants versus titanium dental implants

Titanium is regarded as the "gold standard" for dental implant materials. Numerous studies have affirmed the high success and survival rates of titanium implants in many different applications. One disadvantage is that it can result in poor esthetics, especially in the anterior region, because of its greyish color and exposure of the implant body due to soft tissue recession or if the individual has thin gingival biotype. Titanium and zirconium are the only two elements that don't block implants from integrating into the bone. In regards to integration with the bone, zirconium implants appear to offer the same success rates as titanium implants. [7] Zirconium implants have an obvious esthetic advantage over titanium implants being "pure white", making them indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Bone implant contact [8],[9]


Implant systems providing zirconia implants

Commercial zirconia implant systems currently available are the following: [9]

Ceraroot (Oral Iceberg, Barcelona, Spain) [Figure 7]Sigma (Incermed, Lausanne, Switzerland) [Figure 8]White Sky (Bredent Medical, Senden, Germany) [Figure 9].Z-Systems (Z-Systems, Konstanz, Germany)[Figure 10]Zit-Z (Ziterion, Uffenheim, Germany) [Figure 11]Ziunite (Nobel Biocare) [Figure 12].{Figure 7}{Figure 8}{Figure 9}{Figure 10}{Figure 11}{Figure 12}


Titanium, as a biomaterial of choice, has been and is still largely employed in dental implantology. However, its corrosion products and individual sensitivities to it are still controversial. Zirconia can prove a viable alternative in replacing titanium. A need for references concerning resistance to failure in long-term clinical trials is of paramount importance for zirconia implants. The only thing that is constant in life is change. When all restorations are changing to metal free, why implants should lag behind!!!


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