Comparison of 3D displacements of screw-retained zirconia implant crowns into implants with different internal connections with respect to screw tightening

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Statement of problem.

Internal conical implant-abutment connections without horizontal platforms may lead to crown displacement during screw tightening and torque application. This displacement may affect the proximal contacts and occlusion of the definitive prosthesis.


The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the displacement of custom screw-retained zirconia single crowns into a recently introduced internal conical seal implant-abutment connection in 3D during hand and torque driver screw tightening.

Material and methods.

Stereolithic acrylic resin models were printed using computed tomography data from a patient missing the maxillary right central incisor. Two different internal connection implant systems (both ˜11.5 mm) were placed in the edentulous site in each model using a surgical guide. Five screw-retained single zirconia computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) crowns were fabricated for each system. A pair of high-resolution digital cameras was used to record the relationship of the crown to the model. The crowns were tightened according to the manufacturers’ specifications using a torque driver, and the cameras recorded their relative position again. Three-dimensional image correlation was used to measure and compare crown positions, first hand tightened and then torque driven. The displacement test was repeated 3 times for each crown. Commercial image correlation software was used to extract the data and compare the amount of displacement vertically, mesiodistally, and buccolingually. Repeated-measures ANOVA calculated the relative displacements for all 5 specimens for each implant for both crown screw hand tightening and after applied torque. A Student t test with Bonferroni correction was used for pairwise comparison of interest to determine statistical differences between the 2 implants (α=.05).


The mean vertical displacements were statistically higher than the mean displacements in the mesiodistal and buccolingual directions for both implants (P<.001). Mean displacements in all directions were statistically significant between iterations for both implants (P<.001). No statistically significant differences were found for displacements between implants at different directions and at different iterations (P>.05).


Within the limitations of this in vitro study, screw-retained zirconia crowns tended to displace in all 3 directions, with the highest mean displacement in the vertical direction at iteration 1. However, the amount of displacement of crowns between the 2 different implants was statistically insignificant for all directions and iterations.

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