Bone apposition to a titanium-zirconium alloy implant, as compared to two other titanium-containing implants

Eur Cell Mater. 2012 Apr 10;23:273-86; discussion 286-8. doi: 10.22203/ecm.v023a21.


Implants made of commercially pure titanium (cpTi) are widely and successfully used in dentistry. For certain indications, diameter-reduced Ti alloy implants with improved mechanical strength are highly desirable. The aim was to compare the osseointegration of titanium-zirconium (TiZr) and cpTi implants with a modified sandblasted and acid-etched (SLActive) surface and with a Ti6Al4V alloy that was sand-blasted and acid-washed. Cylindrical implants with two, 0.75 mm deep, circumferential grooves were placed in the maxilla of miniature pigs and allowed to heal for 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks. Undecalcified toluidine blue-stained ground sections were produced. Surface topography, area fraction of tissue components, and bone-to-implant contact (BIC) were determined. All materials showed significantly different surface roughness parameters. The amount of new bone within the implant grooves increased over time, without significant differences between materials. However, BIC values were significantly related to the implant material and the healing period. For TiZr and cpTi implants, the BIC increased over time, reaching values of 59.38 % and 76.15 % after 2 weeks, and 74.50 % and 84.67 % after 8 weeks, respectively. In contrast, the BIC for Ti6Al4V implants peaked with 42.29 % after 2 weeks followed by a decline to 28.60 % at 8 weeks. Significantly more surface was covered by multinucleated giant cells on Ti6Al4V implants after 4 and 8 weeks. In conclusion, TiZr and cpTi implants showed faster osseointegration than Ti6Al4V implants. Both chemistry and surface topography might have influenced the results. The use of diameter-reduced TiZr implants in more challenging clinical situations warrants further documentation in long-term clinical studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alloys / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Bone Transplantation / methods*
  • Female
  • Maxilla / physiology
  • Maxilla / surgery*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Osseointegration / physiology
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Surface Properties
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Time Factors
  • Titanium / chemistry
  • Zirconium / chemistry


  • Alloys
  • titanium alloy (TiAl6V4)
  • Zirconium
  • Titanium