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Volume 24 , Issue 4
July/August 2009

Pages 689–694

A Methodology to Study the Effects of Prosthesis Misfit Over Time: An In Vivo Model

Matthias Karl, DMD/Friedrich Graef, MSD/Siegfried Heckmann, DMD/Thomas Taylor, DDS, MSD

PMID: 19885410

Purpose: Passive fit of implant-supported superstructures cannot currently be achieved. The aim of this investigation was to create a methodology that can be used to study the effects of prosthesis misfit in humans. Materials and Methods: An edentulous patient received two interforaminal implants and a screw-retained bar for the retention of the mandibular denture. A corresponding in vitro model with strain gauges placed mesially and distally, adjacent to the implants, was fabricated to serve as a standardizing control. Over a period of 6 months, a total of 10 measurements on both the in vitro model and in the patient’s mouth were conducted with newly fixed strain gauges on the bar. Results: The in vitro experiments showed that no component wear at the abutment-bar interface had occurred and that repositioning of the strain gauges on the bar caused deviations in strain measurements up to 10.55%. In vivo, a reduction in strain development, from 445 to 383 µm/m, was observed in the initial phase up to 12 weeks after bar insertion. Subsequently, the measurement values increased, and after a period of 24 weeks, they nearly reached the initial strain level (443 µm/m). Only minor changes in strain development of the bar could be detected; these might be a result of limited dynamic loading and the cortical architecture of the surrounding bone. Deviations in measurement accuracy caused by repositioning of the bar strain gauge are a limitation of this technique and should be eliminated in future studies. Conclusions: The present methodology can be applied to study changes in static implant loading over time in humans. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2009;24:689–694

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