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Are you taking risks with your restorations?

by: Michael Stuart

Selecting the best implant-supported restoration for your patients isn’t easy. To make the right decision you need to consider not just the individual components, but the whole system that they’re a part of. Let’s look at why, when it comes to restorative success, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

For conical connection implants, joint compression (p) depends on a number of variables such as preload (tensile force Fa), friction angle (α) and contact length (l). Small changes in any of these parameters can lead to extreme load and stress conditions, which can cause implants to fracture.1

Do you know how the products you use are tested? When it comes to performance assessment for implant-based restorations, it’s important to remember that a system is only as strong as its weakest link. The performance of any restorative component depends not only on the component itself, but on its interactions within a system.

A systematic approach to assessing risks

Both theoretical and biomechanical testing indicate that several parameters can affect the performance of an implant system. These include:

  • Joint compression (the force that acts at the implant-abutment interface under loading conditions)
  • Preload (the tensile force keeping the pieces together)
  • Friction coefficient (which depends on the materials that are in contact)

There’s also the force that the patient exerts on the system by chewing to consider, and the length of the contact between the abutment and the implant. 

It’s a lot to think about, and a small change in any of these parameters, even one not visible to the naked eye, can lead to extreme load stress conditions that cause system failure.

The fine line between success and failure

The interface between implant and abutment is critical for joint stability. If you make manual adjustments to an abutment, or choose one that's not designed for the implant, you could alter the contact angle and the contact length. This can result in a situation that isn’t optimized for the system as a whole, which could cause unknown risks to the patient.

Choosing components that work well together is therefore a critical consideration for treatment success. That’s why we don’t just test our implants, screws and abutments individually, but always as an entire system as well.

We investigate our systems in their entirety in order to limit risks for both the patient and the clinician. This involves everything from the assessment of design and manufacturing processes to evaluating clinical safety and performance, quality assurance and post-market surveillance. Such detailed investigation gives us a solid understanding of how our components work together in the patient’s mouth.

As a result, when you combine our products, you needn’t worry about the impact of the various forces on the implant-abutment interface. You can rest assured knowing you aren’t just combining components – you’re using a tried-and-tested system.

More to explore:

References

Rudolff / Matek; Machinenelemente (Kap. 12, S. 368), 15.Auflage, ISBN 3-528-94028-X