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Korean J Orthod. 2017 Jul;47(4):229-237. doi: 10.4041/kjod.2017.47.4.229. Epub 2017 May 26.

Comparison of mechanical and biological properties of zirconia and titanium alloy orthodontic micro-implants.

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Department of Orthodontics, The Institute of Oral Health Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Oral Anatomy, Dental Research Institute and School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Dental Biomaterials Science, Dental Research Institute and School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Orthodontics, Dental Research Institute and School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Private Practice, Seoul, Korea.
Section of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Center for Health Science, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.



The aim of this study was to compare the initial stability as insertion and removal torque and the clinical applicability of novel orthodontic zirconia micro-implants made using a powder injection molding (PIM) technique with those parameters in conventional titanium micro-implants.


Sixty zirconia and 60 titanium micro-implants of similar design (diameter, 1.6 mm; length, 8.0 mm) were inserted perpendicularly in solid polyurethane foam with varying densities of 20 pounds per cubic foot (pcf), 30 pcf, and 40 pcf. Primary stability was measured as maximum insertion torque (MIT) and maximum removal torque (MRT). To investigate clinical applicability, compressive and tensile forces were recorded at 0.01, 0.02, and 0.03 mm displacement of the implants at angles of 0°, 10°, 20°, 30°, and 40°. The biocompatibility of zirconia micro-implants was assessed via an experimental animal study.


There were no statistically significant differences between zirconia micro-implants and titanium alloy implants with regard to MIT, MRT, or the amount of movement in the angulated lateral displacement test. As angulation increased, the mean compressive and tensile forces required to displace both types of micro-implants increased substantially at all distances. The average bone-to-implant contact ratio of prototype zirconia micro-implants was 56.88 ± 6.72%.


Zirconia micro-implants showed initial stability and clinical applicability for diverse orthodontic treatments comparable to that of titanium micro-implants under compressive and tensile forces.


Mechanical stability; Micro-implant; Temporary anchorage devices; Zirconia implant

Conflict of interest statement

The authors report no commercial, proprietary, or financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

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