Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 24 (2009), No. 4 15. Sep. 2009
Purpose: Passive fit of implant-supported superstructures cannot currently be achieved. The aim of this investigation was to create a methodology that can be used to study the effects of prosthesis misfit in humans.
Materials and Methods: An edentulous patient received two interforaminal implants and a screw-retained bar for the retention of the mandibular denture. A corresponding in vitro model with strain gauges placed mesially and distally, adjacent to the implants, was fabricated to serve as a standardizing control. Over a period of 6 months, a total of 10 measurements on both the in vitro model and in the patient's mouth were conducted with newly fixed strain gauges on the bar.
Results: The in vitro experiments showed that no component wear at the abutment-bar interface had occurred and that repositioning of the strain gauges on the bar caused deviations in strain measurements up to 10.55%. In vivo, a reduction in strain development, from 445 to 383 µm/m, was observed in the initial phase up to 12 weeks after bar insertion. Subsequently, the measurement values increased, and after a period of 24 weeks, they nearly reached the initial strain level (443 µm/m). Only minor changes in strain development of the bar could be detected; these might be a result of limited dynamic loading and the cortical architecture of the surrounding bone. Deviations in measurement accuracy caused by repositioning of the bar strain gauge are a limitation of this technique and should be eliminated in future studies.
Conclusions: The present methodology can be applied to study changes in static implant loading over time in humans.
Keywords: bone remodeling, passive fit, static implant loading, strain gauge technique, stress development