Insertion torques of self-drilling mini-implants in simulated mandibular bone: Assessment of potential for implant fracture
International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants
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© 2016 by Quintessence Publishing Co Inc. Purpose: Fracture of orthodontic mini-implants during insertion is a limiting factor for their clinical success. The purpose of this study was to determine the fracture potential of commonly used self-drilling orthodontic mini-implants when placed into simulated thick, dense mandibular bone. Materials and Methods: Six mini-implant systems were assessed for the potential for fracture (Aarhus, Medicon; Dual-Top, Jeil Medical; OrthoEasy, Forestadent; tomas-pin, Dentaurum; Unitek, 3M; and VectorTAS, Ormco). First, mini-implants were inserted manually, without predrilling, into bone substitutes (Sawbones) with a 3-mm-thick, dense (1.64 g/cm3) cortical layer. A custom-made insertion device was used for placement of mini-implants. A sixaxis force/torque transducer was secured at the base of the bone blocks to measure the maximum torque experienced during insertion. Measured insertion torques were compared with previously reported fracture torques, yielding a torque ratio (insertion torque as a percentage of fracture torque), which was used as an indicator of the potential for mini-implant fracture. Mini-implants that experienced torque ratios ≥ 75% upon insertion underwent further testing, following the manufacturer's recommendations for predrilling in thick, dense bone conditions. Results: Significant differences in torque ratios were found among all mini-implants, except between OrthoEasy and Dual-Top, and OrthoEasy and VectorTAS. Overall, Aarhus had the highest torque ratio (91% ± 3%), with Unitek showing the lowest ratio (37% ± 3%). Aarhus and tomas-pin mini-implants displayed torque ratios ≥ 75% and experienced fracture upon insertion. When the manufacturer's specific predrilling recommendations were followed, no changes in torque ratio were found for Aarhus and tomas-pin. However, while Aarhus continued to fracture upon insertion, all tomas-pin mini-implants were inserted fully without fracture following predrilling. Conclusion: These findings support the safe use of Unitek, VectorTAS, Dual-Top, and OrthoEasy self-drilling mini-implants in areas of 3-mm-thick, 1.64 g/cm3 dense cortical bone without predrilling. Following predrilling, fractures did not occur with tomas-pin. For implants that continued to fracture after predrilling, other strategies may be required, such as the use of larger-diameter mini-implants in thick, dense bone conditions.