Fatigue Failure of External Hexagon Connections on Cemented Implant-Supported Crowns

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To evaluate the probability of survival and failure modes of different external hexagon connection systems restored with anterior cement-retained single-unit crowns. The postulated null hypothesis was that there would be no differences under accelerated life testing.

Materials and Methods:

Fifty-four external hexagon dental implants (∼4 mm diameter) were used for single cement-retained crown replacement and divided into 3 groups: (3i) Full OSSEOTITE, Biomet 3i (n = 18); (OL) OEX P4, Osseolife Implants (n = 18); and (IL) Unihex, Intra-Lock International (n = 18). Abutments were torqued to the implants, and maxillary central incisor crowns were cemented and subjected to step-stress–accelerated life testing in water. Use-level probability Weibull curves and probability of survival for a mission of 100,000 cycles at 200 N (95% 2-sided confidence intervals) were calculated. Stereo and scanning electron microscopes were used for failure inspection.


The beta values for 3i, OL, and IL (1.60, 1.69, and 1.23, respectively) indicated that fatigue accelerated the failure of the 3 groups. Reliability for the 3i and OL (41% and 68%, respectively) was not different between each other, but both were significantly lower than IL group (98%). Abutment screw fracture was the failure mode consistently observed in all groups.


Because the reliability was significantly different between the 3 groups, our postulated null hypothesis was rejected.

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