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Feasibility study of a partially hollow configuration for zirconia dental implants.



To assess the feasibility of a new shape configuration involving a partially hollow and porous lower part for dental implants.

Materials and methods

Cylindrical zirconia dental implants coated with bioactive glass were fabricated in the laboratory. Each implant has a solid upper part and a partially hollow lower part. It is open at the bottom with holes through the lower cylindrical walls. This hollow and porous configuration permits bone growth into the lower part of the implant that, over time, forms an interlinked network to lock the implant into the alveolar bone. Biomechanical properties of the new design were evaluated through material testing and experiments with dogs.


Mechanical testing of bending strength, hardness, fracture toughness, and fatigue life indicated that zirconia implants with the proposed partially hollow configuration can be fabricated to have structural properties comparable to or exceeding the usual requirements for implants. Animal testing suggests that there is appreciable improvement in lock-in strength and osteointegration due to the hollow and porous configuration.


The new shape configuration is biomechanically feasible and further research is warranted to improve the design for human use.

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