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1.  Reliable coupling of orthodontic elements to mini-implants: An in-vitro study 
To investigate the reliability of mechanical and adhesive methods of fixing rectangular wires in the cross-slot of a mini-implant.
Materials and Methods:
A twin-hooked wire element was placed and fixed in the slot of a mini-implant via a NiTi spring under tension, or by means of an adhesive. For the purpose of mechanical anchorage, the wire was crimped with a special crimping tool to increase its thickness and prevent it from slipping through the slot. Before applying the adhesive, there were four possible methods of preparation: Untreated Wire (Adh. 1); ROCATEC-Pre (Adh. 2); ROCATEC-PRE + Espe Sil (Adh. 3); ROCATEC-PRE + ROCATEC-PLUS + Espe Sil (Adh. 4). The mechanical fixing and two adhesive fixings were aged by means of temperature change (500 cycles). A Zwick universal testing machine was used to measure the maximum strength of the coupling.
In all tests, the untreated wire + adhesive withstood the lowest maximum load (Ø 3 N and 10.8 N respectively) and failed the aging test after a maximum of eight cycles. The wires in test group Adh. 4 withstood the highest maximum load (Ø 43.3 N; 41.5 N; 45.9 N after aging) in all tests. The average load withstood by the crimped ligature was 38.7 N.
The adhesive method of fixation performs best when the rectangular wire is sand blasted and silanized before application. The mechanical coupling using the crimped ligature is reliable.
PMCID: PMC4072352  PMID: 24987620
Adhesive; coupling elements; cross-slot; in-vitro experiment; NiTi spring; orthodontic mini-implants; orthodontic wire; rectangular wire
2.  Osseointegration of zirconia implants compared with titanium: an in vivo study 
Head & Face Medicine  2008;4:30.
Titanium and titanium alloys are widely used for fabrication of dental implants. Since the material composition and the surface topography of a biomaterial play a fundamental role in osseointegration, various chemical and physical surface modifications have been developed to improve osseous healing. Zirconia-based implants were introduced into dental implantology as an altenative to titanium implants. Zirconia seems to be a suitable implant material because of its tooth-like colour, its mechanical properties and its biocompatibility. As the osseointegration of zirconia implants has not been extensively investigated, the aim of this study was to compare the osseous healing of zirconia implants with titanium implants which have a roughened surface but otherwise similar implant geometries.
Forty-eight zirconia and titanium implants were introduced into the tibia of 12 minipigs. After 1, 4 or 12 weeks, animals were sacrificed and specimens containing the implants were examined in terms of histological and ultrastructural techniques.
Histological results showed direct bone contact on the zirconia and titanium surfaces. Bone implant contact as measured by histomorphometry was slightly better on titanium than on zirconia surfaces. However, a statistically significant difference between the two groups was not observed.
The results demonstrated that zirconia implants with modified surfaces result in an osseointegration which is comparable with that of titanium implants.
PMCID: PMC2614983  PMID: 19077228
3.  Behavior of osteoblastic cells cultured on titanium and structured zirconia surfaces 
Head & Face Medicine  2008;4:29.
Osseointegration is crucial for the long-term success of dental implants and depends on the tissue reaction at the tissue-implant interface. Mechanical properties and biocompatibility make zirconia a suitable material for dental implants, although surface processings are still problematic. The aim of the present study was to compare osteoblast behavior on structured zirconia and titanium surfaces under standardized conditions.
The surface characteristics were determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In primary bovine osteoblasts attachment kinetics, proliferation rate and synthesis of bone-associated proteins were tested on different surfaces.
The results demonstrated that the proliferation rate of cells was significantly higher on zirconia surfaces than on titanium surfaces (p < 0.05; Student's t-test). In contrast, attachment and adhesion strength of the primary cells was significant higher on titanium surfaces (p < 0.05; U test). No significant differences were found in the synthesis of bone-specific proteins. Ultrastructural analysis revealed phenotypic features of osteoblast-like cells on both zirconia and titanium surfaces.
The study demonstrates distinct effects of the surface composition on osteoblasts in culture. Zirconia improves cell proliferation significantly during the first days of culture, but it does not improve attachment and adhesion strength. Both materials do not differ with respect to protein synthesis or ultrastructural appearance of osteoblasts. Zirconium oxide may therefore be a suitable material for dental implants.
PMCID: PMC2614982  PMID: 19063728
4.  Osseointegration of zirconia implants: an SEM observation of the bone-implant interface 
Head & Face Medicine  2008;4:25.
The successful use of zirconia ceramics in orthopedic surgery led to a demand for dental zirconium-based implant systems. Because of its excellent biomechanical characteristics, biocompatibility, and bright tooth-like color, zirconia (zirconium dioxide, ZrO2) has the potential to become a substitute for titanium as dental implant material. The present study aimed at investigating the osseointegration of zirconia implants with modified ablative surface at an ultrastructural level.
A total of 24 zirconia implants with modified ablative surfaces and 24 titanium implants all of similar shape and surface structure were inserted into the tibia of 12 Göttinger minipigs. Block biopsies were harvested 1 week, 4 weeks or 12 weeks (four animals each) after surgery. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was performed at the bone implant interface.
Remarkable bone attachment was already seen after 1 week which increased further to intimate bone contact after 4 weeks, observed on both zirconia and titanium implant surfaces. After 12 weeks, osseointegration without interposition of an interfacial layer was detected. At the ultrastructural level, there was no obvious difference between the osseointegration of zirconia implants with modified ablative surfaces and titanium implants with a similar surface topography.
The results of this study indicate similar osseointegration of zirconia and titanium implants at the ultrastructural level.
PMCID: PMC2583968  PMID: 18990214

Results 1-4 (4)