Histological assessment of hard and soft tissues surrounding a novel ceramic implant: a pilot study in the minipig

J Clin Periodontol. 2016 Jun;43(6):538-46. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12543. Epub 2016 May 2.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate clinical and soft/hard tissues histomorphological outcomes of a ceramic implant comparatively to a titanium implant in a minipig model.

Material and methods: Eighteen soft tissue level implants (9 Ceramic with ZLA(®) surface as test, and 9 titanium SLActive(®) as control, Institut Straumann, Basel, Switzerland) were randomly placed into the mandible of 6 minipigs (n = 6). Two months later, animals were sacrificed and block biopsies were obtained to assess histomorphological outcomes. Unadjusted paired comparisons, of both groups were performed using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. The Dunnett-Hsu test was used to adjust for multiple comparisons.

Results: All implants showed excellent integration into bone and soft tissue. The fBIC (distance implant shoulder to most coronal implant contact) and BIC% (percentage bone-to-implant contact) were for both groups; test: 3.95 mm and 85.4%; control 3.97 mm and 84.3% respectively. No difference in peri-implant mucosa height was found, however, the sulcular epithelium was significantly shorter for the ZrO2 (mean: 0.76, 95%CI: 0.46-1.06) than for the Ti (mean: 1.40, 95%CI: 1.10-1.70) (p = 0.0090).

Conclusions: Within the limits of this pilot study, no difference was found between the ceramic implant with ZLA(®) surface and a titanium implant in terms of bone tissue integration. Furthermore, the epithelial attachment favoured this ceramic implant over titanium.

Keywords: ZLA; biological width; ceramic implant; collagen fibres; minipig model; zirconia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ceramics
  • Dental Implants*
  • Osseointegration
  • Pilot Projects
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Titanium


  • Dental Implants
  • Titanium