Influence of a zirconia sandblasting treated surface on peri-implant bone healing: An experimental study in sheep

Beatrice Bacchelli, Gianluca Giavaresi, Marco Franchi, Désirée Martini, Viviana De Pasquale, Alessandra Trirè, Milena Fini, Roberto Giardino, Alessandro Ruggeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sandblasting process with round zirconia (ZrO2) particles might be an alternative surface treatment to enhance the osseointegration of titanium dental implants. Our previous study on sheep compared smooth surface titanium implants (control) with implant surfaces sandblasted with two different granulations of ZrO2. As the sandblasted surfaces proved superior, the present study further compared the ZrO2 surface implant with other surface treatments currently employed: machined titanium (control), titanium oxide plasma sprayed (TPS) and alumina sandblasted (Al-SL) at different times after insertion (2, 4 and 12 weeks). Twelve sheep were divided into three groups of four animals each and underwent implant insertion in tibia cortical bone under general anaesthesia. The implants with surrounding tissues were subjected to histology, histomorphometry, scanning electron microscopy and microhardness tests. The experimentation indicated that at 2 weeks Zr-SL implants had the highest significant bone ingrowth (p <0.05) compared to the other implant surfaces, and a microhardness of newly formed bone inside the threads significantly higher than that of Ti. The present work shows that the ZrO2 treatment produces better results in peri-implant newly formed bone than Ti and TPS processing, whereas its performance is similar to the Al-SL surface treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2246-2257
Number of pages12
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Histomorphometry
  • Microhardness
  • Osseointegration
  • Titanium dental implants
  • Zirconia sandblasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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