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Does Implant Design Affect Implant Primary Stability? A
Resonance Frequency Analysis–Based Randomized Split-
Mouth Clinical Trial
Sergio Alexandre Gehrke, DDS, PhD1,2
*
Ulisses Tavares da Silva Neto, DDS3
Massimo Del Fabbro, PhD4,5
The purpose of this study was to assess implant stability in relation to implant design (conical vs. semiconical and wide-pitch vs narrow-
pitch) using resonance frequency analysis. Twenty patients with bilateral edentulous maxillary premolar region were selected. In one
hemiarch, conical implants with wide pitch (group 1) were installed; in the other hemiarch, semiconical implants with narrow pitch were
installed (group 2). The implant allocation was randomized. The implant stability quotient (ISQ) was measured by resonance frequency
analysis immediately following implant placement to assess primary stability (time 1) and at 90 days after placement (time 2). In group 1,
the mean and standard deviation ISQ for time 1 was 65.8 6 6.22 (95% confidence interval [CI], 55 to 80), and for time 2, it was 68.0 6 5.52
(95% CI, 57 to 77). In group 2, the mean and standard deviation ISQ was 63.6 6 5.95 (95% CI, 52 to 78) for time 1 and 67.0 6 5.71 (95% CI,
58 to 78) for time 2. The statistical analysis demonstrated significant difference in the ISQ values between groups at time 1 (P ¼ .007) and
no statistical difference at time 2 (P ¼ .54). The greater primary stability of conical implants with wide pitch compared with semiconical
implants with narrow pitch might suggest a preference for the former in case of the adoption of immediate or early loading protocols.
Key Words: dental implant, geometrical design, implant stability, resonance frequency analysis.
INTRODUCTION
D
ental implants are considered predictable devices for
the replacement of missing teeth, achieving success
rates beyond 90% in the long term, and their use has
become routine in dental practice.1,2
One of the keys
to successful osseointegration is the primary stability of an
implant.
Implant design is one of the most fundamental elements
that affects the implant primary stability and the ability to
sustain loading during or after osseointegration. The design
features can be divided into 2 major categories: macrodesign
and microdesign. Macrodesign includes thread pitch, body
shape, and thread design, while microdesign essentially regards
the surface morphology.3,4
In addition to implant design, the
primary stability of dental implants is highly dependent on
surgical technique and bone features at the implant site.4,5
Experimental findings suggest that a tolerable range of
micromotion is in the order of 50–150 lm6
and may vary
according to implant design and implant surface topography.5
One of the most popular tools that have been developed to
make quantitative measurements of the stability of the implant-
bone interface is resonance frequency analysis (RFA).7–10
This
noninvasive clinical method was first described in 1996.7
It
consists of a small L-shaped transducer that is fastened by
means of a screw to the implant or to the transmucosal
abutment. This transducer has a vertical beam with 2 piezo-
ceramic elements attached. One of the piezo-ceramic elements
produces a vibration consisting of a small sinusoidal signal in
the range of 5 to 15 kHz in steps of 25 Hz. The other piezo-
ceramic element analyzes the response of the transducer to the
vibration.7
Resonance frequency of the transducer/implant
system is estimated from the peak amplitude of the signal
and is coded into a parameter called the implant stability
quotient (ISQ). The latter may assume a range of values from 0
(in the case of a totally mobile implant) to 100 (a perfectly
stable implant-bone complex). Resonance frequency analysis is
used to measure the stability of single unsplinted implants at
implant placement, at any time during healing, and after
loading of the implants in case of screw-retained prostheses—it
cannot be used in case the prosthesis is cemented.
The purpose of this study was to use RFA to test the
stability of 2 types of implants with different design in relation
to the screw shape (conical vs semiconical) and the thread pitch
(wide vs narrow pitch) at 2 time periods: at implant installation
and 90 days later.
1
Biotecnos Research Center, Santa Maria, Brazil.
2
Catholic University of Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay.
3
Postgraduate Program in Implantology of Associac¸a˜o Paulista dos
Circurgio˜es Dentistas, Jundiaı´ and Osasco, Brazil.
4
Research Center in Oral Health, Department of Biomedical, Surgical and
Dental Sciences, Universita` degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy
5
IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milano, Italy.
* Corresponding author, e-mail: sergio.gehrke@hotmail.com
DOI: 10.1563/aaid-joi-D-13-00294
Journal of Oral Implantology e281
CLINICAL
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Twenty patients (14 women and 6 men) were selected for this
study. The patients were between 21 and 54 years of age. The
study was approved by the Ethics and Research Committee of
Sa˜o Leopoldo Mandic University (Campinas, Brazil). All patients
were informed regarding the nature of the study and their
participation, and written consent was granted by every
participant according to the Helsinki Declaration of 1994.
The patient inclusion criteria were a healthy medical
condition (ASA 1 and ASA 2 according to the American Society
of Anesthesiologists classification), the ability to withstand the
stress of dental implant surgery, and the need for bilateral
implant-supported rehabilitation in the maxillary premolar area.
In case of tooth extraction, patients were required to have had at
least 6 months of healing without any grafting procedure
performed at the time of or after the extractions. Patients with
unstable systemic conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension, or
osteoporosis), patients with oral pathologies in their soft or hard
tissues, and patients with harmful oral habits (such as bruxism,
clenching, and smoking) were not included. Further exclusion
criteria included the presence of uncontrolled or untreated
periodontal disease, insufficient bone volume to insert implants
without augmentation procedures at the intended implant site
(a crest of less than 13 mm in height and 5 mm in width), and
insufficient mesiodistal space (an estimated implant-to-adjacent
tooth distance of less than 2 mm).
Surgical procedure
Patients were prescribed amoxicillin (875 mg orally, twice per
day) for 5 days prior to surgery, and an additional dose (2 g)
was administered 2 h before surgery. All surgical procedures
were performed under local anesthesia with articaine 2% (Dfl
Ltda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in an outpatient setting by the same
surgeon, who was familiar with both traditional and piezoelec-
tric surgical techniques.
In the present study, both patients requiring 2 contralateral
single implants and 4 implants (2 on each contralateral side) in
the premolar region were included. In case of patients
scheduled to receive 1 implant per site, the implant type was
randomly allocated. In case of patients to be treated with 4
implants, implant type was randomly assigned so that on the
same side there could be 2 implants belonging either to the
same group or to 2 different groups. Randomization was
determined by coin toss.
After a full-thickness mucoperiosteal flap was elevated, the
underlying alveolar bone was exposed for osteotomy prepara-
tion. Both the contralateral and the adjacent implant sites were
prepared in each patient during the same surgery. The
osteotomies were made using the conventional drilling method
with a sequence of burs (Figure 1) in accordance with each
manufacturer’s instructions.
A total of 60 implants were inserted and distributed into 2
groups (n¼30 for each group): group 1, conical implants with a
Morse taper connection with wide pitch, which have 1 mm of
distance between threads (Implacil De Bortoli, Sa˜o Paulo,
Brazil), and group 2, semiconical implants with a Morse taper
connection with narrow pitch, which have 0.5 mm of distance
between threads (Neodent, Curitiba, Brazil). The implants are
shown in Figure 2. All implants were 3.5 mm in diameter and 13
mm in length. The torque of the implants was limited to 50
Ncm using a motor control.
FIGURES 1–2. FIGURE 1. Image of the bur sequence used to prepare the implant sites. FIGURE 2. Image of implants used in the study: conical
implant with wide pitch (a) and semiconical implant with narrow pitch (b).
e282 Vol. XLI/No. Six/2015
Effect of Implant Design on Primary Stability
For implant placement, a motor Kavo Concept (KaVo Dental
GmbH, Biberach, Germany) and counterangle Kavo with a 27:1
reduction and an external irrigation with 0.9% saline solution
were used. All implants were installed with the use of surgical
guides. The flaps were sutured using nylon 5-0 (Ethicon, Inc,
Somerville, Mass). Ketoprofen (200 mg/d) and paracetamol (750
mg, 3 times per day) were given for pain relief for 3 days after
surgery.
Resonance frequency analysis was performed to analyze
the implant stability soon after installation in both hemiarches
using the Osstell Mentor and a Smartpeg (Integration
Diagnostics AB, Go¨teborg, Sweden), demonstrated in the
Figure 3. The Smartpeg was screwed into each implant and
tightened to approximately 5 Ncm. The transducer probe was
aimed at the small magnet at the top of the Smartpeg at a
distance of 2 or 3 mm and held stable during the pulsing until
the instrument beeped and displayed the ISQ value. The ISQ
values were measured during the surgical procedure (time 1)
and at 90 days (time 2) after surgery. The measurements were
taken twice in the buccolingual direction and twice in the
mesiodistal direction.11
The mean of the 2 highest measure-
ments from each direction was regarded as the representative
ISQ of that implant. In addition, each implant was clinically
evaluated at all visits for mobility, pain, and signs of infection.
For patients receiving 2 implants per side, the ISQ values of
the 2 implants of each group were averaged, so as to provide a
single value for each implant type for each patient. In this way,
the final analysis of this split-mouth study was based on 20
bilateral patients and 20 ISQ values for each group of implants.
Implant features
As part of the present investigation, some features of the 2
types of implants, such as the total surface area available for
contact with bone tissue and linear measurements of the
implant profile, were evaluated through a computerized
analysis using the software Image Tool 5.02 for Microsoft
Windows, with high-resolution pictures of the implants. The
hypothetical profile of the implant body without threads was
also calculated to estimate the surface area increase due to the
threads. The surface area of the threads alone (from the implant
body to the tip of the threads), measured along the implant
from the first thread to the apical part in one side, which
theoretically corresponds to the area of the implant, which is
inserted in the bone after implant placement, was 2.85 mm2
for
the conical implant and 2.15 mm2
for the semiconical implants.
Therefore, the latter had 25% less area available for bone
contact. The linear measurement of the implant profile was 24.0
mm and 30.1 mm for the conical and semiconical implants,
respectively. Finally, the linear measurement of the implant
body without threads was 16.7 mm and 17.2 mm for the conical
and semiconical implant, respectively. See Figure 4.
FIGURES 3–4. FIGURE 3. Image of the Ostell and the Smartpeg installed in the implants used to measure the stability, respectively. FIGURE 4.
Scheme of the measurements: (a) area of the implant that is inserted in the bone, (b) linear measurement of the implant profile, (c) linear
measurement of the implant body.
Journal of Oral Implantology e283
Gehrke et al
Statistical analysis
The comparison between the 2 groups at each time and within
each group at different times was performed using the t test for
paired samples (R Software version 2.6.2, R Foundation for
Statistical Computing, Wien, Austria). The level of significance
was set at a ¼ .05.
RESULTS
Ten patients presented with an absence of the 4 upper
maxillary premolars, and 10 patients presented with an absence
of 2 upper premolars, 1 per side. No patients dropped out of
the study during the observation period. All implants survived
and were osseointegrated after 90 days.
The graph in Figure 5 shows a box plot of the degree of
stability (ISQ) at each evaluation time for each group. Implants
belonging to Group 1 displayed a significantly higher average
ISQ value than implants in group 2 at time 1 (P ¼ .007);
however, such difference was not significant at time 2 (P ¼ .54).
In the within-group comparison between time 1 and 2, both
groups presented an increase in the ISQ values, even though
only group 2’s increase achieved statistical significance (P ¼
.002; while P ¼ .07 for group 1). The mean values and standard
deviations of ISQ values are shown graphically in Figure 6.
DISCUSSION
Primary implant stability has long been considered a funda-
mental predictor for successful osseointegration.5,11,12
Previous
studies have reported a high rate of implant failure (32%) for
implants that showed inadequate initial stability.13
Thus, it
appears that high primary stability reduces the risk of micro-
motion and adverse tissue responses, such as fibrous tissue
formation at the bone-implant interface during healing and
loading.11
Initial implant stability was suggested to be
influenced by the bone quality and quantity, implant design,
and surgical technique used.4,5,11,14,15
The present study
compared the primary stability of 2 models of implants that
differ in macrodesign and thread pitch during the initial phase
of osseointegration. These types of implants are widely used
because their macrodesign facilitates implant insertion in
situations with scarce residual bone quantity and quality.
The methods commonly used to clinically assess implant
stability and osseointegration include percussion, mobility
tests, and clinical radiographs. All of these methods are limited
by their lack of standardization, poor sensitivity, and suscep-
tibility to operator variables.8,9,16
To better standardize the
results of this study, only RFA was used. This technique is rapid,
straightforward, and easy to accomplish as part of a routine
clinical procedure, and there is no risk of patient discomfort.
Resonance frequency is determined by both the rigidity
(stability) of the implant-bone interface and the distance from
the transducer to the first bone-implant contact. In fact, it has
been demonstrated that a linear relationship exists between
the abutment height and ISQ values.10
The numerical output is
also interpreted as a value that is linearly related to the degree
of micromotion at the implant-bone interface. This device may
be able to detect changes in micromotion that could be
associated with an increase or decrease in the degree of
osseointegration.17
Furthermore, such values are moderately
correlated with the insertion torque and are dependent on a
number of variables, among which are implant length and
width, as well as bone density.18–20
Conversely, there was no
correlation between ISQ and bone-implant contact, which is a
histologic parameter used to assess the amount of newly
formed bone making contact with the implant surface during
the osseointegration process.21
The normal range of ISQ values
that has been generally reported for implants achieving
primary stability is between 60 and 80, although a consensus
on the ISQ threshold below which an implant should not be
considered stable has not been established.18–20
However,
some studies suggested that ISQ values of at least 55 at the
time of implant placement might be considered as represent-
ing clinically relevant stability and possible predictors of
successful osseointegration.19,20
Under conditions of moderate
bone density, the ISQ values showed a significant difference in
FIGURES 5–6. FIGURE 5. Box plot of the stability values measured in each time for the 2 groups. FIGURE 6. Graph of the implant stability
quotient values and standard deviation of each group.
e284 Vol. XLI/No. Six/2015
Effect of Implant Design on Primary Stability
primary stability between the implants tested in this study, with
higher values recorded for the conical implants group. This
might be because the conical implants had a larger surface area
available for bone contact as compared with the semiconical
ones. This was mainly due to the thread pitch that was
especially prominent in the apical part of the conical implants
as compared with the semiconical ones. The latter, conversely,
have smaller and more packed threads that account for a
greater linear profile.
Biomechanical and finite element analysis studies showed
that maximum effective stress decreased as screw pitch
decreased and implant length increased.22,23
Moreover, it was
already demonstrated how the thread width and thickness
assume a relevant role in the mechanical behavior of titanium
dental implants in the osseointegration process.23
In this study,
the implants with wide thread pitch demonstrated higher
values of ISQ. This would confirm that wider thread pitch is
related to better implant primary stability, providing a higher
mechanical interlocking with bone tissue.
Albrektsson et al24
reported that factors such as surgical
technique, host bed, implant design, implant surface, material
biocompatibility, and loading conditions have been shown to
affect implant osseointegration. Studies to comprehend these
factors and how they influence each other have been the focus
of recent research. Understanding these factors and applying
them appropriately in the science of dental implants can lead
us to achieve predictable osseointegration, thus minimizing
potential implant failures. With this knowledge, implant therapy
could be easily applied, even in less favorable situations (eg,
early or immediate loading, smokers, diabetic patients, or
unfavorable bone quality). In fact, previous studies have
demonstrated that for the early and immediate implant loading
protocols, achievement of adequate implant stability is
mandatory to achieve proper osseointegration leading to
successful treatment.25
Previous evidence suggests that an
ISQ measure of 60–65 at the time of implant installation is a
predictor of a good prognosis for immediate implant loading.10
The hypothesis of this study was that differences of the
implant macrodesign could lead to different levels of initial
implant stability as well as affect the process of osseointegra-
tion. The results of the present study seem to support such a
hypothesis, although it is necessary to confirm the present
outcomes in bone substrates with different density as well as in
different categories of patients and prosthetic rehabilitations.
Furthermore, a periodical assessment of implant stability using
RFA during the healing period could be a helpful, noninvasive,
and objective tool for the estimation of implant osseointegra-
tion, as also recommended in previous studies.19,20
CONCLUSION
Within the limitations of this study, it was observed that when
placed in conditions of moderate bone density, conical
implants with wide pitch achieved a small initial advantage as
compared with semiconical implants with narrow pitch, and
after 90 days, both implant designs showed a similar primary
stability as measured by RFA. It can be concluded that the
characteristics of macrodesign may improve the primary
stability of dental implants.
ABBREVIATIONS
ISQ: implant stability quotient
RFA: resonance frequency analysis
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e286 Vol. XLI/No. Six/2015
Effect of Implant Design on Primary Stability

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Implant stability rfa

  • 1. Does Implant Design Affect Implant Primary Stability? A Resonance Frequency Analysis–Based Randomized Split- Mouth Clinical Trial Sergio Alexandre Gehrke, DDS, PhD1,2 * Ulisses Tavares da Silva Neto, DDS3 Massimo Del Fabbro, PhD4,5 The purpose of this study was to assess implant stability in relation to implant design (conical vs. semiconical and wide-pitch vs narrow- pitch) using resonance frequency analysis. Twenty patients with bilateral edentulous maxillary premolar region were selected. In one hemiarch, conical implants with wide pitch (group 1) were installed; in the other hemiarch, semiconical implants with narrow pitch were installed (group 2). The implant allocation was randomized. The implant stability quotient (ISQ) was measured by resonance frequency analysis immediately following implant placement to assess primary stability (time 1) and at 90 days after placement (time 2). In group 1, the mean and standard deviation ISQ for time 1 was 65.8 6 6.22 (95% confidence interval [CI], 55 to 80), and for time 2, it was 68.0 6 5.52 (95% CI, 57 to 77). In group 2, the mean and standard deviation ISQ was 63.6 6 5.95 (95% CI, 52 to 78) for time 1 and 67.0 6 5.71 (95% CI, 58 to 78) for time 2. The statistical analysis demonstrated significant difference in the ISQ values between groups at time 1 (P ¼ .007) and no statistical difference at time 2 (P ¼ .54). The greater primary stability of conical implants with wide pitch compared with semiconical implants with narrow pitch might suggest a preference for the former in case of the adoption of immediate or early loading protocols. Key Words: dental implant, geometrical design, implant stability, resonance frequency analysis. INTRODUCTION D ental implants are considered predictable devices for the replacement of missing teeth, achieving success rates beyond 90% in the long term, and their use has become routine in dental practice.1,2 One of the keys to successful osseointegration is the primary stability of an implant. Implant design is one of the most fundamental elements that affects the implant primary stability and the ability to sustain loading during or after osseointegration. The design features can be divided into 2 major categories: macrodesign and microdesign. Macrodesign includes thread pitch, body shape, and thread design, while microdesign essentially regards the surface morphology.3,4 In addition to implant design, the primary stability of dental implants is highly dependent on surgical technique and bone features at the implant site.4,5 Experimental findings suggest that a tolerable range of micromotion is in the order of 50–150 lm6 and may vary according to implant design and implant surface topography.5 One of the most popular tools that have been developed to make quantitative measurements of the stability of the implant- bone interface is resonance frequency analysis (RFA).7–10 This noninvasive clinical method was first described in 1996.7 It consists of a small L-shaped transducer that is fastened by means of a screw to the implant or to the transmucosal abutment. This transducer has a vertical beam with 2 piezo- ceramic elements attached. One of the piezo-ceramic elements produces a vibration consisting of a small sinusoidal signal in the range of 5 to 15 kHz in steps of 25 Hz. The other piezo- ceramic element analyzes the response of the transducer to the vibration.7 Resonance frequency of the transducer/implant system is estimated from the peak amplitude of the signal and is coded into a parameter called the implant stability quotient (ISQ). The latter may assume a range of values from 0 (in the case of a totally mobile implant) to 100 (a perfectly stable implant-bone complex). Resonance frequency analysis is used to measure the stability of single unsplinted implants at implant placement, at any time during healing, and after loading of the implants in case of screw-retained prostheses—it cannot be used in case the prosthesis is cemented. The purpose of this study was to use RFA to test the stability of 2 types of implants with different design in relation to the screw shape (conical vs semiconical) and the thread pitch (wide vs narrow pitch) at 2 time periods: at implant installation and 90 days later. 1 Biotecnos Research Center, Santa Maria, Brazil. 2 Catholic University of Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay. 3 Postgraduate Program in Implantology of Associac¸a˜o Paulista dos Circurgio˜es Dentistas, Jundiaı´ and Osasco, Brazil. 4 Research Center in Oral Health, Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Universita` degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy 5 IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milano, Italy. * Corresponding author, e-mail: sergio.gehrke@hotmail.com DOI: 10.1563/aaid-joi-D-13-00294 Journal of Oral Implantology e281 CLINICAL
  • 2. MATERIALS AND METHODS Twenty patients (14 women and 6 men) were selected for this study. The patients were between 21 and 54 years of age. The study was approved by the Ethics and Research Committee of Sa˜o Leopoldo Mandic University (Campinas, Brazil). All patients were informed regarding the nature of the study and their participation, and written consent was granted by every participant according to the Helsinki Declaration of 1994. The patient inclusion criteria were a healthy medical condition (ASA 1 and ASA 2 according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists classification), the ability to withstand the stress of dental implant surgery, and the need for bilateral implant-supported rehabilitation in the maxillary premolar area. In case of tooth extraction, patients were required to have had at least 6 months of healing without any grafting procedure performed at the time of or after the extractions. Patients with unstable systemic conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension, or osteoporosis), patients with oral pathologies in their soft or hard tissues, and patients with harmful oral habits (such as bruxism, clenching, and smoking) were not included. Further exclusion criteria included the presence of uncontrolled or untreated periodontal disease, insufficient bone volume to insert implants without augmentation procedures at the intended implant site (a crest of less than 13 mm in height and 5 mm in width), and insufficient mesiodistal space (an estimated implant-to-adjacent tooth distance of less than 2 mm). Surgical procedure Patients were prescribed amoxicillin (875 mg orally, twice per day) for 5 days prior to surgery, and an additional dose (2 g) was administered 2 h before surgery. All surgical procedures were performed under local anesthesia with articaine 2% (Dfl Ltda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in an outpatient setting by the same surgeon, who was familiar with both traditional and piezoelec- tric surgical techniques. In the present study, both patients requiring 2 contralateral single implants and 4 implants (2 on each contralateral side) in the premolar region were included. In case of patients scheduled to receive 1 implant per site, the implant type was randomly allocated. In case of patients to be treated with 4 implants, implant type was randomly assigned so that on the same side there could be 2 implants belonging either to the same group or to 2 different groups. Randomization was determined by coin toss. After a full-thickness mucoperiosteal flap was elevated, the underlying alveolar bone was exposed for osteotomy prepara- tion. Both the contralateral and the adjacent implant sites were prepared in each patient during the same surgery. The osteotomies were made using the conventional drilling method with a sequence of burs (Figure 1) in accordance with each manufacturer’s instructions. A total of 60 implants were inserted and distributed into 2 groups (n¼30 for each group): group 1, conical implants with a Morse taper connection with wide pitch, which have 1 mm of distance between threads (Implacil De Bortoli, Sa˜o Paulo, Brazil), and group 2, semiconical implants with a Morse taper connection with narrow pitch, which have 0.5 mm of distance between threads (Neodent, Curitiba, Brazil). The implants are shown in Figure 2. All implants were 3.5 mm in diameter and 13 mm in length. The torque of the implants was limited to 50 Ncm using a motor control. FIGURES 1–2. FIGURE 1. Image of the bur sequence used to prepare the implant sites. FIGURE 2. Image of implants used in the study: conical implant with wide pitch (a) and semiconical implant with narrow pitch (b). e282 Vol. XLI/No. Six/2015 Effect of Implant Design on Primary Stability
  • 3. For implant placement, a motor Kavo Concept (KaVo Dental GmbH, Biberach, Germany) and counterangle Kavo with a 27:1 reduction and an external irrigation with 0.9% saline solution were used. All implants were installed with the use of surgical guides. The flaps were sutured using nylon 5-0 (Ethicon, Inc, Somerville, Mass). Ketoprofen (200 mg/d) and paracetamol (750 mg, 3 times per day) were given for pain relief for 3 days after surgery. Resonance frequency analysis was performed to analyze the implant stability soon after installation in both hemiarches using the Osstell Mentor and a Smartpeg (Integration Diagnostics AB, Go¨teborg, Sweden), demonstrated in the Figure 3. The Smartpeg was screwed into each implant and tightened to approximately 5 Ncm. The transducer probe was aimed at the small magnet at the top of the Smartpeg at a distance of 2 or 3 mm and held stable during the pulsing until the instrument beeped and displayed the ISQ value. The ISQ values were measured during the surgical procedure (time 1) and at 90 days (time 2) after surgery. The measurements were taken twice in the buccolingual direction and twice in the mesiodistal direction.11 The mean of the 2 highest measure- ments from each direction was regarded as the representative ISQ of that implant. In addition, each implant was clinically evaluated at all visits for mobility, pain, and signs of infection. For patients receiving 2 implants per side, the ISQ values of the 2 implants of each group were averaged, so as to provide a single value for each implant type for each patient. In this way, the final analysis of this split-mouth study was based on 20 bilateral patients and 20 ISQ values for each group of implants. Implant features As part of the present investigation, some features of the 2 types of implants, such as the total surface area available for contact with bone tissue and linear measurements of the implant profile, were evaluated through a computerized analysis using the software Image Tool 5.02 for Microsoft Windows, with high-resolution pictures of the implants. The hypothetical profile of the implant body without threads was also calculated to estimate the surface area increase due to the threads. The surface area of the threads alone (from the implant body to the tip of the threads), measured along the implant from the first thread to the apical part in one side, which theoretically corresponds to the area of the implant, which is inserted in the bone after implant placement, was 2.85 mm2 for the conical implant and 2.15 mm2 for the semiconical implants. Therefore, the latter had 25% less area available for bone contact. The linear measurement of the implant profile was 24.0 mm and 30.1 mm for the conical and semiconical implants, respectively. Finally, the linear measurement of the implant body without threads was 16.7 mm and 17.2 mm for the conical and semiconical implant, respectively. See Figure 4. FIGURES 3–4. FIGURE 3. Image of the Ostell and the Smartpeg installed in the implants used to measure the stability, respectively. FIGURE 4. Scheme of the measurements: (a) area of the implant that is inserted in the bone, (b) linear measurement of the implant profile, (c) linear measurement of the implant body. Journal of Oral Implantology e283 Gehrke et al
  • 4. Statistical analysis The comparison between the 2 groups at each time and within each group at different times was performed using the t test for paired samples (R Software version 2.6.2, R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Wien, Austria). The level of significance was set at a ¼ .05. RESULTS Ten patients presented with an absence of the 4 upper maxillary premolars, and 10 patients presented with an absence of 2 upper premolars, 1 per side. No patients dropped out of the study during the observation period. All implants survived and were osseointegrated after 90 days. The graph in Figure 5 shows a box plot of the degree of stability (ISQ) at each evaluation time for each group. Implants belonging to Group 1 displayed a significantly higher average ISQ value than implants in group 2 at time 1 (P ¼ .007); however, such difference was not significant at time 2 (P ¼ .54). In the within-group comparison between time 1 and 2, both groups presented an increase in the ISQ values, even though only group 2’s increase achieved statistical significance (P ¼ .002; while P ¼ .07 for group 1). The mean values and standard deviations of ISQ values are shown graphically in Figure 6. DISCUSSION Primary implant stability has long been considered a funda- mental predictor for successful osseointegration.5,11,12 Previous studies have reported a high rate of implant failure (32%) for implants that showed inadequate initial stability.13 Thus, it appears that high primary stability reduces the risk of micro- motion and adverse tissue responses, such as fibrous tissue formation at the bone-implant interface during healing and loading.11 Initial implant stability was suggested to be influenced by the bone quality and quantity, implant design, and surgical technique used.4,5,11,14,15 The present study compared the primary stability of 2 models of implants that differ in macrodesign and thread pitch during the initial phase of osseointegration. These types of implants are widely used because their macrodesign facilitates implant insertion in situations with scarce residual bone quantity and quality. The methods commonly used to clinically assess implant stability and osseointegration include percussion, mobility tests, and clinical radiographs. All of these methods are limited by their lack of standardization, poor sensitivity, and suscep- tibility to operator variables.8,9,16 To better standardize the results of this study, only RFA was used. This technique is rapid, straightforward, and easy to accomplish as part of a routine clinical procedure, and there is no risk of patient discomfort. Resonance frequency is determined by both the rigidity (stability) of the implant-bone interface and the distance from the transducer to the first bone-implant contact. In fact, it has been demonstrated that a linear relationship exists between the abutment height and ISQ values.10 The numerical output is also interpreted as a value that is linearly related to the degree of micromotion at the implant-bone interface. This device may be able to detect changes in micromotion that could be associated with an increase or decrease in the degree of osseointegration.17 Furthermore, such values are moderately correlated with the insertion torque and are dependent on a number of variables, among which are implant length and width, as well as bone density.18–20 Conversely, there was no correlation between ISQ and bone-implant contact, which is a histologic parameter used to assess the amount of newly formed bone making contact with the implant surface during the osseointegration process.21 The normal range of ISQ values that has been generally reported for implants achieving primary stability is between 60 and 80, although a consensus on the ISQ threshold below which an implant should not be considered stable has not been established.18–20 However, some studies suggested that ISQ values of at least 55 at the time of implant placement might be considered as represent- ing clinically relevant stability and possible predictors of successful osseointegration.19,20 Under conditions of moderate bone density, the ISQ values showed a significant difference in FIGURES 5–6. FIGURE 5. Box plot of the stability values measured in each time for the 2 groups. FIGURE 6. Graph of the implant stability quotient values and standard deviation of each group. e284 Vol. XLI/No. Six/2015 Effect of Implant Design on Primary Stability
  • 5. primary stability between the implants tested in this study, with higher values recorded for the conical implants group. This might be because the conical implants had a larger surface area available for bone contact as compared with the semiconical ones. This was mainly due to the thread pitch that was especially prominent in the apical part of the conical implants as compared with the semiconical ones. The latter, conversely, have smaller and more packed threads that account for a greater linear profile. Biomechanical and finite element analysis studies showed that maximum effective stress decreased as screw pitch decreased and implant length increased.22,23 Moreover, it was already demonstrated how the thread width and thickness assume a relevant role in the mechanical behavior of titanium dental implants in the osseointegration process.23 In this study, the implants with wide thread pitch demonstrated higher values of ISQ. This would confirm that wider thread pitch is related to better implant primary stability, providing a higher mechanical interlocking with bone tissue. Albrektsson et al24 reported that factors such as surgical technique, host bed, implant design, implant surface, material biocompatibility, and loading conditions have been shown to affect implant osseointegration. Studies to comprehend these factors and how they influence each other have been the focus of recent research. Understanding these factors and applying them appropriately in the science of dental implants can lead us to achieve predictable osseointegration, thus minimizing potential implant failures. With this knowledge, implant therapy could be easily applied, even in less favorable situations (eg, early or immediate loading, smokers, diabetic patients, or unfavorable bone quality). In fact, previous studies have demonstrated that for the early and immediate implant loading protocols, achievement of adequate implant stability is mandatory to achieve proper osseointegration leading to successful treatment.25 Previous evidence suggests that an ISQ measure of 60–65 at the time of implant installation is a predictor of a good prognosis for immediate implant loading.10 The hypothesis of this study was that differences of the implant macrodesign could lead to different levels of initial implant stability as well as affect the process of osseointegra- tion. The results of the present study seem to support such a hypothesis, although it is necessary to confirm the present outcomes in bone substrates with different density as well as in different categories of patients and prosthetic rehabilitations. Furthermore, a periodical assessment of implant stability using RFA during the healing period could be a helpful, noninvasive, and objective tool for the estimation of implant osseointegra- tion, as also recommended in previous studies.19,20 CONCLUSION Within the limitations of this study, it was observed that when placed in conditions of moderate bone density, conical implants with wide pitch achieved a small initial advantage as compared with semiconical implants with narrow pitch, and after 90 days, both implant designs showed a similar primary stability as measured by RFA. It can be concluded that the characteristics of macrodesign may improve the primary stability of dental implants. ABBREVIATIONS ISQ: implant stability quotient RFA: resonance frequency analysis REFERENCES 1. Albrektsson T, Zarb GA, Worthington P, Eriksson AR. The long-term efficacy of currently used dental implants: a review and proposed criteria of success. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 1986;1:11–25. 2. 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