Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Accuracy of torque-limiting devices: A comparative evaluation


      Statement of problem

      To prevent the loosening of implant screws, clinicians should be aware of the output torque values needed to achieve the desired preload. Accurate torque-control devices are crucial in this regard; however, little information is currently available comparing the accuracy of mechanical with that of electronic torque-control devices.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to identify and compare the accuracy of different types of torque-control devices.

      Material and methods

      Devices from 5 different dental implant manufacturers were evaluated, including 2 spring-type (Straumann, Implance) mechanical devices (MTLD), 2 friction-type (Biohorizons, Dyna) MTLDs, and 1 (Megagen) electronic torque-control device (ETLD). For each manufacturer, 5 devices were tested 5 times with a digital torque tester, and the average for each device was calculated and recorded. The percentage of absolute deviations from the target torque values (PERDEV) were calculated and compared by using 1-way ANOVA. A 1-sample t test was used to evaluate the ability of each device to achieve its target torque value within a 95% confidence interval for the true population mean of measured values (α=.05 for all statistical analyses).


      One-way ANOVAs revealed statistically significant differences among torque-control devices (P<.001). ETLD showed higher PERDEVs (28.33 ±9.53) than MTLDs (P<.05), whereas PERDEVS of friction-type (7.56 ±3.64) and spring-type (10.85 ±4.11) MTLDs did not differ significantly. In addition, devices produced by Megagen had a significantly higher (P<.05) PERDEV (28.33 ±9.53) other devices, whereas no differences were found in devices manufactured by Biohorizons (7.31 ±5.34), Dyna (7.82 ±1.08), Implance (8.43 ±4.77), and Straumann (13.26 ±0.79). However, 1-sample t tests showed none of the torque-control devices evaluated in this study were capable of achieving their target torque values (P<.05).


      Within the limitations of this in vitro study, MTLDs were shown to be significantly more accurate than ETLDs. However, none of the torque-control devices evaluated were able to meet their target torque values successfully.
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