Bone anchors – can you hitch up your wagon?

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The purpose of this review was to address and understand the current status of mini-screw implants (MSI) that are used in orthodontics. Understanding the biologic adaptation of MSI to its adjacent bone is one of the critical factors to their success. The review explores factors that are associated with failure of MSI, with special focus on an understanding of osseointegration as it relates to MSI. The rationale and importance of measuring bone contact and dynamic bone remodeling in animal studies are outlined. The utility of microcomputed tomography (μCT) as a substitute for conventional histomorphometry is debated. Finally, alveolar physiology and rigidity of implants are explored to understand potential reasons for the high failure rate of MSI when compared to endosseous implants.

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