To histologically and radiographically evaluate soft (primary outcome) and hard tissue integration of two-piece titanium and zirconia dental implants with/without buccal dehiscence defects.
MATERIALS & METHODS
In six dogs, five implants were randomly placed on both sides of the mandible: (a) Z1: a zirconia implant (modified surface) within the bony housing, (b) Z2: a zirconia implant (standard surface) within the bony housing, (c) T: a titanium implant within the bony housing, (d) Z1_D: a Z1 implant placed with a buccal bone dehiscence (3 mm in height, identical width to implant body), and (e) T_D: a titanium implant placed with a buccal bone dehiscence. Two weeks of healing and 6 months of loading were applied on each hemi-mandible, respectively.
The median level of the margo mucosae shifted more apically over time in all groups (borderline statistical significance in groups Z1_D: -0.52 mm and T_D: -1.26 mm). The median height of the peri-implant mucosa in groups Z1_D and T_D was greatest at 2 weeks and 6 months, but the linear change in the peri-implant mucosa was statistically significant only for group T_D over time (-1.45 mm). Z1 demonstrated a higher bone-to-implant contact compared to Z2 and T. Minimal change of radiographic marginal bone levels in all groups was observed (<1 mm).
When buccal dehiscence was presented, titanium implants presented significant loss of peri-implant mucosal height compared to zirconia implants with a modified surface, due to greater apical shift of the margo mucosae. A modified zirconia surface enhanced osseointegration.