Gold screw loosening is a problem that frequently affects dental implants. The application of a preload has been the main means of preventing loosening. However, this measure has not been able to eliminate its occurrence. In this study the effect of a washer in a Brånemark-type implant on the loosening conditions of the retaining screw was investigated using a finite element simulation. The simulation indicated that a washer may significantly increase the tolerance of a screw against loosening. This is accomplished by increasing the tolerance of the implant against deformation. The addition of a customized washer to a dental implant system may offer a very simple and inexpensive solution for the persistent problem of screw loosening.
Keywords: dental implant, finite element analysis, screw loosening, stiffness, washer