Clinical oral implants research vol:11 issue:5 pages:465-75
Since loading is increasingly believed to be a determining factor in the treatment outcome with oral implants, there is a need to expand the knowledge related to the biomechanics of oral implants. The aim of this study is to gain insight in the distribution and magnitude of occlusal forces on oral implants carrying fixed prostheses. This is done by in vivo quantification and qualification of these forces, which implies that not only the magnitude of the load but also its type (axial force or bending moment) will be registered. A total of 13 patients with an implant supported fixed full prosthesis were selected. Occlusal forces on the supporting implants were quantified and qualified during controlled load application of 50 N on several positions along the occlusal surface of the prostheses and during maximal biting in maximal occlusion by use of strain gauged abutments. The test was conducted when the prostheses were supported by all (5 or 6) implants and was repeated when the prostheses were supported by 4 and by 3 implants only. Despite considerable inter-individual variation, clear differences in implant loading between these test conditions were seen. Loading of the extension parts of the prostheses caused a hinging effect which induced considerable compressive forces on the implants closest to the place of load application and lower compressive or tensile forces on other implants. On average, higher forces were observed with a decreasing number of supporting implants. Bending moments were highest when 3 implants only were used.