On the Use of a Simplified Slip Limit Equation to Predict Screw Self-Loosening of Dental Implants Subjected to External Cycling Loading
Self-loosening of the prosthetic screws is a major mechanical problem affecting roughly 10% of dental implants, according to the literature. This phenomenon may lead to micro-movements that produce crestal bone loss, peri-implantitis, or structural failure of the implant assembly. In this paper, a simple and effective tool to predict self-loosening under masticatory loads is presented. The loads acting on the screw are obtained from a simple finite element (FE) model, and introduced in a
... tical formula that calculates the torque needed to loosen the screw; self-loosening will occur when this torque becomes zero. In this sense, all the parameters involved in self-loosening phenomenon can be easily identified, and their effect quantified. For validating purposes, 90 experimental tests were performed in a direct stress test bench. As a result, a powerful tool with a maximum experimental error of 7.6% is presented, allowing dental implant manufacturers to predict eventual occurrence of self-loosening in their developed dental implant products and take corrective actions at preliminary design stage. Furthermore, the following clinical implications can be directly derived from the methodology: a higher screw preload, that is a higher tightening torque, improves self-loosening response of the dental implant and, similarly, for a given preload force, higher friction coefficient and screw metric, as well as lower pitch and thread angle values, are also found to be beneficial.