Comparison of stainless steel and titanium alloy orthodontic miniscrew implants: A mechanical and histologic analysis


Ryan N. Brown, Brent E. Sexton, Tien-Min Gabriel Chu,Thomas R. Katona, Kelton T. Stewart, Hee-Moon Kyung, Sean Shih-Yao Liu



The detailed mechanical and histologic properties of stainless steel miniscrew implants used for temporary orthodontic anchorage have not been assessed. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare them with identically sized titanium alloy miniscrew implants.


Forty-eight stainless steel and 48 titanium alloy miniscrew implants were inserted into the tibias of 12 rabbits. Insertion torque and primary stability were recorded. One hundred grams of tensile force was applied between half of the implants in each group, resulting in 4 subgroups of 24 specimens each. Fluorochrome labeling was administered at weeks 4 and 5. When the rabbits were euthanized at 6 weeks, stability and removal torque were measured in half (ie, 12 specimens) of each of the 4 subgroups. Microdamage burden and bone-to-implant contact ratio were quantified in the other 12 specimens in each subgroup. Mixed model analysis of variance was used for statistical analysis.


All implants were stable at insertion and after 6 weeks. The only significant difference was the higher (9%) insertion torque for stainless steel. No significant differences were found between stainless steel and titanium alloy miniscrew implants in microdamage burden and bone-to-implant contact regardless of loading status.


Stainless steel and titanium alloy miniscrew implants provide the same mechanical stability and similar histologic responses, suggesting that both are suitable for immediate orthodontic clinical loads.

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