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Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Accuracy and precision of as-received implant torque wrenches

      Statement of problem

      Previous implant torque evaluation did not determine if the target value fell within a confidence interval for the population mean of the test groups, disallowing determination of wheter a specific type of wrench met a standardized goal value.

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study was to measure both the accuracy and precision of 2 different configurations (spring style and peak break) of as-received implant torque wrenches and compare the measured values to manufacturer-stated values.

      Material and methods

      Ten wrenches from 4 manufacturers, representing a variety of torque-limiting mechanisms and specificity of use (with either a specific brand or universally with any brand of implant product). Drivers were placed into the wrench, and tightening torque was applied to reach predetermined values using a NIST-calibrated digital torque wrench. Five replications of measurement were made for each wrench and averaged to provide a single value from that instrument. The target torque value for each wrench brand was compared to the 95% confidence interval for the true population mean of measured values to see if it fell within the measured range.

      Results

      Only 1 wrench brand (Nobel Biocare) demonstrated the target torque value falling within the 95% confidence interval for the true population mean. For others, the targeted torque value fell above the 95% confidence interval (Straumann and Imtec) or below (Salvin Torq).

      Conclusions

      Neither type of torque-limiting mechanism nor designation of a wrench to be used as a dedicated brand-only product or to be used as a universal product on many brands affected the ability of a wrench to deliver torque values where the true population mean included the target torque level.
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