Zirconia is worth studying as an alternative to dental titanium implants to overcome the disadvantages of titanium. This study investigated the surface characteristics of the zirconia implant material and osteoclastogenesis responses on the surface compared with titanium. Yttrium oxide-stabilized 5% tetragonal zirconia polycrystalline specimens were manufactured, and osteoclast-precursor cells were cultured and differentiated into osteoclasts on the specimens. Surface shape, roughness, and chemical composition were evaluated. After culturing, cell morphologies and differentiation capacity were analyzed using tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity (TRACP). mRNA of two critical transcription factors, nuclear factor of activated T-cells 1 (NFATc1
) and c-Fos
were measured, and protein levels of NFATc1
were investigated. The zirconia specimens had rhomboid-like shapes with smooth surfaces and exhibited no difference in surface roughness compared to the titanium specimens. Morphologies of differentiated osteoclasts on both materials were similar. TRACP activity on the zirconia showed comparable results to that on the titanium. The mRNA value of NFATc1
on the zirconia was higher than that on the titanium at day four. The protein level of c-Fos
was expressed thicker on the zirconia when compared to the titanium at day two. The results of this study suggest that zirconia material provides adequate osteoclastogenesis behaviors for dental implant use.
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