The dynamic natures of implant loading

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Statement of problem.

A fundamental problem in fully understanding the dynamic nature of implant loading is the confusion that exists regarding the torque load delivered to the implant complex, the initial force transformation/stress/strain developed within the system during the implant complex assembly, and how the clamping forces at the interfaces and the preload stress impact the implant prior to any external loading.


The purpose of this study was to create an accurately dimensioned finite element model with spiral threads and threaded bores included in the implant complex, positioned in a bone model, and to determine the magnitude and distribution of the force transformation/stress/strain patterns developed in the modeled implant system and bone and, thus, provide the foundational data for the study of the dynamic loading of dental implants prior to any external loading.

Material and Methods.

An implant (Brånemark Mark III), abutment (CeraOne), abutment screw (Unigrip), and the bone surrounding the implant were modeled using HyperMesh software. The threaded interfaces between screw/implant and implant/bone were designed as a spiral thread helix assigned with specific coefficient of friction values. Assembly simulation using ABAQUS and LS-DYNA was accomplished by applying a 32-Ncm horizontal torque load on the abutment screw (Step 1), then decreasing the torque load to 0 Ncm to simulate the wrench removal (Step 2). The postscript data were collected and reviewed by HyperMesh. A regression analysis was used to depict the relationships between the torque load and the mechanical parameters.


During the 32-Ncm tightening sequence, the abutment screw elongated 13.3 μm. The tightening torque generated a 554-N clamping force at the abutment/implant interface and a 522-N preload. The von Mises stress values were 248 MPa in the abutment at the abutment-implant interface, 765 MPa at the top of the screw shaft, 694 MPa at the bottom of the screw shaft, 1365 MPa in the top screw thread, and 21 MPa in the bone at the top of the implant-bone interface. This study also identified various characteristic isosurface stress patterns. The maximum stress magnitude to complete the von Mises stress joint pattern in the present model was 107 MPa during screw tightening, and was reduced to 104 MPa with removal of the wrench. Various specific stress patterns were identified within all elements of the implant complex during the assembly simulation.


During the torque moment application, the abutment screw was elongated, and every 1.0-μm elongation of the screw was equivalent to a 47.9-N increase of the preload in the implant complex. The ideal index to determine the preload amount was the contact force at the interface between the screw threads and the threaded screw bore. The isosurface mode identified various characteristic stress patterns developed within the implant complex at the various interfaces during the assembly simulation. These patterns are the (1) spiral and ying-yang pattern of the XY stress, (2) spring, cap, clamping, and preload pattern of the ZZ stress, and (3) bone holding and joint pattern of the von Mises stress. (J Prosthet Dent 2009;101:359–371)

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