Journal of Oral Rehabilitation vol:28 issue:3 pages:226-33
The fit of implant supported fixed prostheses is said to be of clinical concern because of the rigid fixation of an oral implant in its surrounding bone. The influence of the torque sequence of the set screws during fixation of implant supported fixed full prostheses on the final pre-load was investigated in vitro. No significant effect of the torque sequence of the set screws on the final pre-load was observed. The main objective of this study was to quantify and qualify the pre-load in vivo on implants supporting a fixed full prosthesis. This was performed when the prostheses were supported by all five or six implants and was repeated when the prostheses were supported by only four and three implants. A total of 13 patients with a fixed full implant supported prosthesis were selected. The existing abutments were changed for strain gauged abutments. After tightening the set screws with a torque of 10 N cm, the pre-load conditions were registered. The average (SEM) axial forces and bending moments in case of five or six, four and three supporting implants were 323 N (43 N), 346 N (59 N), 307 N (60 N) 21 N cm (3 N cm) and 21 N cm (2 N cm), 23 N cm (5 N cm), respectively. In addition, the pre-load was registered after fixation of a machined gold cylinder, as delivered by the manufacturer, on each of the supporting implants, representing the 'optimal fit' situation. The corresponding average (SEM) axial forces and bending moments in case of five or six, four and three supporting implants were 426 N (36 N), 405 N (40 N), 413 N (46 N) and 8 N cm (1 N cm), 8 N cm (1 N cm), 8 N cm (1 N cm), respectively. The induced axial forces after tightening the prostheses were significantly lower then after tightening the gold cylinder in case of five or six supporting implants (P < 0.02). The induced bending moments after tightening the prostheses were statistically significantly higher (P < 0.0001) then after tightening the gold cylinder in all test conditions (five or six, four or three supporting implants). This study underlines the static load present after screw tightening implant supported fixed full prostheses.