Journal of Oral Rehabilitation vol:27 issue:9 pages:744-53
This paper describes a methodology that allows in vitro and in vivo quantification and qualification of forces on oral implants. Strain gauges are adapted to the outer surface of 5.5 and 7 mm standard abutments (Brånemark System, Nobel Biocare, Sweden). The readings of the strain gauges are transformed into a numerical representation of the normal force and the bending moment around the X- and Y-axis. The hardware and the software of the 3D measuring device based on the strain gauge technology is explained and its accuracy and reliability tested. The accuracy level for axial forces and bending moments is 9.72 N and 2.5 N x cm, respectively, based on the current techniques for strain gauged abutments. As an example, an in vivo force analysis was performed in a patient with a full fixed prosthesis in the mandible. Since axial loads of 450 N and bending moments of 70 N x cm were recorded, it was concluded that the accuracy of the device falls well within the scope of our needs. Nevertheless, more in vivo research is needed before well defined conclusions can be drawn and strategies developed to improve the biomechanics of oral implants.