Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 31 (2016), No. 6 22. Nov. 2016
Purpose: Cyclic loading may cause settling of abutments mounted on dental implants, potentially affecting screw joint stability and implant-abutment micromotion. It was the goal of this in vitro study to compare micromotion of implant-abutment assemblies before and after masticatory simulation.
Materials and Methods: Six groups of abutments (n = 5) for a specific tissue-level implant system with an internal octagon were subject to micromotion measurements. The implant-abutment assemblies were loaded in a universal testing machine and an apparatus and extensometers were used to record displacement. This was done twice, in the condition in which they were received from the abutment manufacturer and after simulated loading (100,000 cycles; 100 N). Statistical analysis was based on analysis of variance, two-sample t tests (Welch tests), and Pearson product moment correlation (α = .05).
Results: The mean values for micromotion ranged from 33.15 to 63.41 μm and from 30.03 to 42.40 μm before and after load cycling. The general trend toward reduced micromotion following load cycling was statistically significant only for CAD/CAM zirconia abutments (P = .036) and for one type of clone abutment (P = .012), with no significant correlation between values measured before and after cyclic loading (Pearson product moment correlation; P = .104). While significant differences in micromotion were found prior to load cycling, no significant difference among any of the abutment types tested could be observed afterward (P > .05 in all cases).
Conclusion: A quantifiable settling effect at the implant-abutment interface seems to result from cyclic loading, leading to a decrease in micromotion. This effect seems to be more pronounced in low-quality abutments. For the implant system tested in this study, retightening of abutment screws is recommended after an initial period of clinical use.
Keywords: clone abutments, implant-abutment connection, micromotion, settling effect