Nano-Diamond Hybrid Materials for Structural Biomedical Application
OBJECTIVES The aim of the present study was to evaluate differences in the ultimate fracture resistance of titanium and zirconia abutments. MATERIAL AND METHODS Twenty titanium fixtures were embedded in 20 resin mandible section simulators to mimic osseointegrated implants in the premolar area. The embedded implants were then randomly divided into two groups. Afterwards, specimens in group A (n=10) were connected to titanium abutments (TiDesign™ 3.5/4.0, 5.5, 1.5 mm), while specimens in group B (n=10) were connected to zirconia abutments (ZirDesign ™ 3.5/4.0, 5.5, 1.5 mm). Both groups were loaded to failure in a dynamometric testing machine. Fractured samples were then analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). RESULTS Group A showed a significantly higher fracture strength than that observed in group B. Group A failures were observed at the screw that connects the abutment with the implant while the abutment connection hexagons were plastically bent by the applied load. Group B failures were a result of abutment fractures. SEM analysis showed that in group A the screw failure was driven by crack nucleation, coalescence and propagation, while in group B, the SEM analysis of failed surfaces showed the conchoidal fracture profile characteristic of brittle materials. CONCLUSIONS The strength of both tested systems is adequate to resist physiologic chewing forces in the premolar area. Conversely, the titanium and zirconia failure modes evaluated here occurred at unphysiological loads. In addition, because the abutments were tested without crowns, the presented data have limited direct transfer to the clinical situation.