J Periodontal Implant Sci.  2016 Dec;46(6):362-371. 10.5051/jpis.2016.46.6.362.

Biocompatibility study of lithium disilicate and zirconium oxide ceramics for esthetic dental abutments

  • 1Laboratory of Biomaterials and Bone Site Inflammation, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France. celine.brunot-gohin@univ-reims.fr
  • 2Laboratory of Biomechanics and Bioengineering, Research Center of Royallieu, University of Technology of Compiègne, Sorbonne Universities, Compiègne, France.
  • 3Laboratory of Integrated Renewable Matter Transformations, Research Center of Royallieu, University of Technology of Compiègne, Sorbonne Universities, Compiègne, France.
  • 4University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Faculty of Odontology, Reims, France.
  • 5Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


The increasing demand for esthetically pleasing results has contributed to the use of ceramics for dental implant abutments. The aim of this study was to compare the biological response of epithelial tissue cultivated on lithium disilicate (LSâ‚‚) and zirconium oxide (ZrOâ‚‚) ceramics. Understanding the relevant physicochemical and mechanical properties of these ceramics will help identify the optimal material for facilitating gingival wound closure.
Both biomaterials were prepared with 2 different surface treatments: raw and polished. Their physicochemical characteristics were analyzed by contact angle measurements, scanning white-light interferometry, and scanning electron microscopy. An organotypic culture was then performed using a chicken epithelium model to simulate peri-implant soft tissue. We measured the contact angle, hydrophobicity, and roughness of the materials as well as the tissue behavior at their surfaces (cell migration and cell adhesion).
The best cell migration was observed on ZrOâ‚‚ ceramic. Cell adhesion was also drastically lower on the polished ZrOâ‚‚ ceramic than on both the raw and polished LS2. Evaluating various surface topographies of LS2 showed that increasing surface roughness improved cell adhesion, leading to an increase of up to 13%.
Our results demonstrate that a biomaterial, here LS2, can be modified using simple surface changes in order to finely modulate soft tissue adhesion. Strong adhesion at the abutment associated with weak migration assists in gingival wound healing. On the same material, polishing can reduce cell adhesion without drastically modifying cell migration. A comparison of LS2 and ZrO2 ceramic showed that LS2 was more conducive to creating varying tissue reactions. Our results can help dental surgeons to choose, especially for esthetic implant abutments, the most appropriate biomaterial as well as the most appropriate surface treatment to use in accordance with specific clinical dental applications.


Ceramics; Dental abutments; Dental esthetics; Embryo culture techniques

MeSH Terms

Biocompatible Materials
Cell Adhesion
Cell Movement
Dental Abutments*
Dental Implants
Embryo Culture Techniques
Esthetics, Dental
Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
Tissue Adhesions
Wound Healing
Wounds and Injuries
Biocompatible Materials
Dental Implants
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