A Retrospective Clinical Study with Regard to Survival and Success Rates of Zirconia Implants up to and after 7 Years of Loading

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The study aims to retrospectively investigate the clinical performance of first-generation zirconia implants with a sandblasted surface up to and after 7 years of loading.

Materials and Methods:

Clinical records of patients treated with zirconia implants between 2004 and 2009 were screened. Consequently, adequate patients were invited to a clinical and radiographic investigation to classify each implant according to strict success criteria.


Seventy-one patients receiving 161 implants were available for the evaluation. Overall, 36 implants (22.4%) were lost due to early (n = 14) and late failures (n = 4) or fractures (n = 18). All surviving 125 implants fulfilled the success criteria. None of the investigated implants had a history of peri-implant infections. Mean values with regard to gingival index, plaque index, modified sulcus bleeding index, and probing depth were 0.03, 0.23, 0.59, and 2.80 mm, respectively. The radiographically evaluated mean crestal bone loss was 0.97 ± 0.07 mm. Diameter-reduced implants (3.25 mm) showed lower survival (58.5%) compared with implants with a diameter of 4.0 mm (88.9%) and 5.0 mm (78.6%). The overall longitudinal survival rate was 77.3%.


First-generation zirconia implants showed low overall survival and success rates. The evaluated clinical and radiographic parameters were consistent with healthy peri-implant tissues. Additionally, nonfractured failures were not associated with peri-implant infections.

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