The Effects of Loading on the Preload and Dimensions of the Abutment Screw for a 3-Unit Cantilever-Fixed Prosthesis Design


Setia, Gaurav DDS, Yousef, Hoda DMD, MS, Ehrenberg, David DDS, MS, Luke, Allyn BA, BSCE, MSCE, Weiner, Saul DDS


Objective: The purpose of this study was to use an in vitro model system to compare the effects on the screw torque and screw dimensions within 2 commercially available implant systems from occlusal loading on a cantilevered-fixed partial denture. Materials and Methods: Cantilevered implant-supported 3-unit prostheses with 2 premolar abutments and 1 premolar pontic (7.3 mm in length) were made on resin casts containing 2 implant analogs for 2 implant systems: BioLok Silhouette Tapered Implant System (Birmingham, AL) and Zimmer Tapered Screw-Vent Implant System (Carlsbad, CA) with 10 samples in each group. Each sample was loaded with either of 2 protocols: (1) a load of 50 N on the cantilevered pontic unit and (2) a loading of 150 N on all 3 units. The outcome measures were (1) changes in residual torque of the abutment screws and (2) changes in screw dimension. Results: The BioLok Silhouette Tapered Implant group demonstrated slight but statistically significant torque loss 18.8% to 28.5% in both abutment screws for both protocols, P <= 0.05, without any changes in screw dimension. In the Zimmer Tapered Screw-Vent Implant group, there was a significant elongation of the abutment screws and a markedly significant 44.4%, (P <= 0.01) loss in torque in the mesial screw and a 28.5%, (P <= 0.05) loss in torque in the distal screw when the cantilever alone was loaded. Conclusions: Differences in screw design influence the maintenance of preload and distortion of the shank. The influence of the interface design, namely an internal hex of 1 mm versus an external hex did not influence the preload. Cantilevered prostheses can cause loss of torque and dimensional changes in abutment screws.

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