Vertical forces applied to dental implants during oral functions have not been quantified precisely. The key problem has been the lack of suitable measuring devices. This article introduces a new technique for placing a transducer directly in the implant without any increase in vertical dimension. Results were compared to loads applied to teeth. Implants in the molar position that were fixed to a premolar with a prosthesis withstood maximum vertical forces of 60 to 120 N during chewing. Single molars and premolars carried maximum vertical forces of 120 to 150 N. Clenching in centric occlusion caused a load level of approximately 50 N for both natural and artificial abutments. Occlusal prematurities on the implant restoration that were less than 200 µm in height showed no significant increase of the implant load level.
Keywords: bending moments, chewing forces, clenching, implant loading, interface, measuring device, occlusion, prematurities