Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 25 (2010), No. 4 15. July 2010
Purpose: Critical bending moment (CBM), defined as the bending moment at which the external nonaxial load applied overcomes screw joint preload and causes loss of contact between the mating surfaces of the implant screw joint components, was measured for four different implants and their single-tooth replacement abutments.
Materials and Methods: CBM at the implant-abutment screw joint for four implant-abutment test groups was measured in vitro at 80%, 100%, and 120% of the manufacturers' recommended torque levels. Regular-platform implants with their corresponding single-tooth abutments were used. Microstrain was measured while known loads were applied to the abutment at known distances from the implant-abutment interface. Strain instrumentation was used to record the strain data dynamically to determine the point of gap opening. All torque applications and strain measurements were repeated five times for the five samples in each group.
Results: For the Brånemark/CeraOne assemblies, the mean CBMs were 72.14 Ncm, 102.21 Ncm, and 119.13 Ncm, respectively, at 80%, 100%, and 120% of the manufacturer's recommended torque. For the Replace/Easy assemblies, mean CBMs were 86.20 Ncm, 109.92 Ncm, and 120.93 Ncm; for the Biomet 3i/STA assemblies, they were 67.97 Ncm, 83.14 Ncm, and 91.81 Ncm; and for the Lifecore/COC assemblies, they were 58.32 Ncm, 76.79 Ncm, and 78.93 Ncm. Two-way analysis of variance revealed significant effects for the test groups and torque levels. Subsequent tests confirmed that significant differences existed between test groups and torque levels.
Conclusion: The results appear to confirm the primary role of the compressive preload imparted by the abutment screw in maintaining screw joint integrity. CBM was found to differ among implant systems and torque levels. Torque levels recommended by the manufacturer should be followed to ensure screw joint integrity.
Keywords: abutment screw, bending moment, dental implant, implant-abutment screw joint, strain gauge, tightening torque