Purpose: In recent years, ceramic implants made of zirconia have secured a niche position next to established titanium implants, due partly to new scientific findings and positive clinical experience with the handling of ceramic implants. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical and radiographic data for monotype ceramic implants that have remained in place for 60 months under masticatory loading.
Keywords: ceramic implants, clinical investigation, ceramic implants, success rate, survival rate, zirconium oxide
Materials and methods: In 2011, this prospective clinical study included patients with a single-tooth gap in the maxilla and mandible. Monotype ceramic implants (Straumann) were used according to a standard protocol. Provisional prostheses were placed after 3 months, followed by final prostheses 3 months later. Patients were invited for a 60-month follow-up. Implant survival was analyzed from lifetime data. Success rates and crestal bone levels were evaluated from implant placement to 6, 12, 36, and 60 months after surgery.
Results: From the initial 44 patients recruited, 36 were analyzable for the 60-month follow-up. With one implant lost before the 6-month followup, the survival rate after 60 months was 97.7%, and the mean survival time was 58.7 months. Sixty months after implant placement, the success rate was 97.2% (95% confidence interval = 84.6% to > 99.9%). Mean bone loss after 60 months was 0.99 (± 0.59) mm.
Conclusion: After 60 months, monotype ceramic implants made of zirconia achieved success and survival rates comparable with those reported for titanium implants in selected patient populations. Ceramic implants can be used as an alternative to titanium implants at the request of patients and if specifically indicated, for example, due to titanium intolerance.