Sensitivity and Specificity of Radiographic Methods for Predicting Insertion Torque of Dental Implants


Arthur Rodriguez Gonzalez Cortes, DDS, PhD, Hazem Eimar, DDS, MS, Jorge de Sá Barbosa, DDS, MS, Claudio Costa, DDS, PhD, Emiko Saito Arita, DDS, PhD, Faleh Tamimi, DDS, PhD


Background: Subjective radiographic classifications of alveolar bone have been proposed and correlated with implant insertion torque (IT). The present diagnostic study aimed to identify quantitative bone features influencing IT, and to use these findings to develop an objective radiographic classification for predicting IT.

Methods: Demographics, panoramic radiographs (taken at the beginning of dental treatment) and cone beam computed tomographic scans (taken for implant surgical planning) of a total of 25 patients receiving 31 implants were analyzed. Bone samples retrieved from implant sites were assessed with dual x-ray absorptiometry, micro-computed tomography and histology. Odds ratio, sensitivity and specificity of all variables to predict high peak IT were assessed.

Results: A ridge cortical thickness greater than .75mm and a normal appearance of the inferior mandibular cortex were the most sensitive variables for predicting high peak IT (87.5% and 75%, respectively). A classification based on the combination of both variables presented high sensitivity (90.9%) and specificity (100%) for predicting IT.

Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study, the present results suggest that it is possible to predict IT accurately, based on radiographic findings of the patient. This could be useful in the treatment plan of immediate loading cases.

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