Dental implants (rigid structures that are surgically positioned in the jawbone to replace teeth) have high commercial price due to costs associated with their production process. They are currently produced, unit by unit, using conventional metal materials machining technologies.
For production in series of complex micro-products (eg. implants), in metal/ceramic, microinjection molding proves to be a technically and economically viable alternative.
The main objective of BePIM II was to produce dental implants with osseointegration capacity and low cost production, using an innovative material as an alternative to titanium and titanium alloys, that have been used for a long time in the dental implants production. Indeed, the production of two-parts zirconia dental implants (abutment and implant) using the microPIM technique, allows to reduce their production cost and maintain the properties suitable for the function. Having a removable connection (implant and abutment), having a color similar to the crown, and young module compatible with the jaw bone were also objectives of this project.
In addition to the production of the implant, nanostrustured ceramic coatings were developed and optimized with the possibility of using DPSC's (Dental pulp stem cells) in order to increase the osseointegration capacity of the implant surface.
As proposed, the production of ceramic implants (zirconia) using the PIM technique was a success, and it was possible to achieve dimensional accuracy (optimized feedstocks; precision of molding cavities) and mechanical stability suitable for their use (optimized debindingl and sintering) . The nanostructured coatings increased the osseointegration capacity of the implant surface combined with the use of DPSC's (in vitro and in vivo tests), reducing the post-surgery recovery time.