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Volume 23 , Issue 2
March/April 2008

Load Fatigue Performance of Four Implant-Abutment Interface Designs: Effect of Torque Level and Implant System

H. C. Quek, BDS, MDS, MRD, RCSEd/Keson B. Tan, BDS, MSD/Jack I. Nicholls, PhD

PMID: 18548921

Purpose: Biomechanical load-fatigue performance data on single-tooth implant systems with different implant-abutment interface designs is lacking in the literature. This study evaluated the load fatigue performance of 4 implant-abutment interface designs (Brånemark-CeraOne; 3i Osseotite-STA abutment; Replace Select-Easy abutment; and Lifecore Stage-1-COC abutment system). The number of load cycles to fatigue failure of 4 implant-abutment designs was tested with a custom rotational load fatigue machine. The effect of increasing and decreasing the tightening torque by 20% respectively on the load fatigue performance was also investigated. Materials and Methods: Three different tightening torque levels (recommended torque, –20% recommended torque, +20% recommended torque) were applied to the 4 implant systems. There were 12 test groups with 5 samples in each group. The rotational load fatigue machine subjected specimens to a sinusoidally applied 35 Ncm bending moment at a test frequency of 14 Hz. The number of cycles to failure was recorded. A cutoff of 5 3 106 cycles was applied as an upper limit. Results: There were 2 implant failures and 1 abutment screw failure in the Brånemark group. Five abutment screw failures and 4 implant failures was recorded for the 3i system. The Replace Select system had 1 implant failure. Five cone screw failures were noted for the Lifecore system. Analysis of variance revealed no statistically significant difference in load cycles to failure for the 4 different implant-abutment systems torqued at recommended torque level. A statistically significant difference was found between the –20% torque group and the +20% torque group (P < .05) for the 3i system. Conclusions: Load fatigue performance and failure location is system specific and related to the design characteristics of the implant-abutment combination. It appeared that if the implant-abutment interface was maintained, load fatigue failure would occur at the weakest point of the implant. It is important to use the torque level recommended by the manufacturer. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2008;23: 253–262

Key words: abutment screw failure, implant-abutment interface, load fatigue, preload, torque

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