The Impact of In Vitro Accelerated Aging, Approximating 30 and 60 Years In Vivo, on Commercially Available Zirconia Dental Implants

Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2017 Apr;19(2):245-252. doi: 10.1111/cid.12462. Epub 2016 Nov 9.


Background: Despite increased popularity of Zirconia dental implants, concerns have been raised regarding low temperature degradation (LTD) and its effect on micro-structural integrity.

Purpose: This study evaluated the effect of LTD on four types of Zirconia dental implants at 0, 30, and 60 years of artificial aging. The impact of aging on t-m transformation and micro crack formation was measured.

Materials and methods: Accelerated aging at 15 and 30 hours, approximating 30 and 60 years in vivo, aged 36 Zirconia dental implants: Z systems® (A), Straumann® (B), Ceraroot® (C), and Zeramex® (D). Focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopic analysis determined the micro structural features, phase transformation, and the formation of micro cracks.

Results: At 15 hours, type A implant presented with micro cracks and t-m transformation of 0.9 µm and 3.1 µm, respectively. At 30 hours, micro cracks remained shallow (1 µm). At 15 hours, type B implant presented micro cracks (0.7 µm) and grain transformation (1.2 µm). At 30 hours, these features remained superficial at 0.6 and 1.5 µm, respectively. Type C implant presented surface micro cracks of 0.3 µm at 15 hours. The depth of t-m transformation slightly increased to 1.4 µm. At 30 hours, number of micro cracks increased at the surface to an average depth of 1.5 µm. Depth of t-m transformation increased to an average of 2.5 µm. At 15 hours, micro cracks remained superficial (0.8 µm) for type D implant and depth of t-m transformation increased to 2.3 µm. At 30 hours, the depth of micro cracks increased to an average of 1.3 µm followed by increased t-m transformation to a depth of 4.1 µm.

Conclusion: Depth of grain transformation remained within 1-4 µm from the surface. The effect of aging was minimal for all Zirconia implants.

Keywords: Zirconia dental implant; accelerated aging; low temperature degradation; micro cracks; t-m transformation.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Cold Temperature
  • Dental Implants*
  • Dental Materials / chemistry*
  • Dental Stress Analysis
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Zirconium / chemistry*


  • Dental Implants
  • Dental Materials
  • Zirconium