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Volume 22 , Issue 6
November/December 2007

Pages 879885

A Classification System to Measure the Implant-Abutment Microgap

Stefania C. Kano/Paul P. Binon/Donald A. Curtis

PMID: 18271368

Purpose: A large microgap at the implant-abutment interface has been reported to result in adverse effects, including screw loosening, abutment rotation, and abutment fracture. However, a standardized classification of the implant-abutment interface has not been established. The purposes of this investigation were (1) to propose a classification system based on the horizontal and vertical microgap of the implant-abutment interface and (2) to compare the implant-abutment interface in 4 groups of abutments. Materials and Methods: Forty-eight randomly selected external hexagonal implants were paired with (1) machined titanium abutments, (2) premachined palladium abutments cast-on with palladium alloy, (3) plastic burnout abutments cast with nickel chromium alloy, and (4) plastic burnout abutments cast with cobalt chromium alloy. A comparison of the horizontal and vertical microgaps at the implant-abutment interface was completed at 8 locations on each specimen to the nearest micrometer using an optical microscope with a magnification of 1503. Group means and significant differences between groups were determined by analysis of variance and Tukey multiple-comparisons post-hoc analysis. P < .05 was the threshold for statistical significance. Results: There was no significant difference between groups with respect to vertical misfit. For horizontal misfit, machined titanium abutments presented significantly higher horizontal misfit compared to other groups (P < .001). Premachined cast-on abutments had significantly higher horizontal misfit than cast NiCr abutments (P < .001). In the proposed classification system, 23% of all sites measured at the implant-abutment interface had an ideal relationship, 34% had a horizontal discrepancy only, 4% had a vertical discrepancy only, and 39% had both vertical and horizontal discrepancies. Conclusion: The proposed implant-abutment classification system demonstrated a way to characterize and compare the microgap at the implant-abutment interface. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2007;22:879885

Key words: implant-abutment interface, microgap

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