Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Clinical Research| Volume 124, ISSUE 2, P189-194, August 2020

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Evaluation of the wear and retention performance of a shape-memory alloy abutment system after 6 months of clinical use

Published:November 25, 2019DOI:


      Statement of problem

      A nitinol sleeve that uses shape memory to rapidly unlock dental restorations from implant abutments has been developed to allow prosthesis removal for assessment and maintenance, and clinical treatment has been promising. However, objective studies that evaluate the wear and retention performance after short-term clinical use are lacking.


      The purpose of this clinical study was to evaluate the wear and retention performance of a shape-memory abutment system after 6 months of clinical use.

      Material and methods

      Shape-memory alloy sleeves on posterior osseointegrated implants were retrieved after 6 months of clinical use. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to evaluate the surfaces of the retention sleeve’s arms for wear. Uniaxial tensile testing was performed to measure the change in retention force after clinical use. Average retention values of the shape-memory abutment system were compared with previously reported in vitro retention values for definitive and interim cements used in titanium abutment and coping assemblies by using the Welch t test.


      No evidence of wear, fracture, or chipping was observed during SEM analysis on the shape-memory alloy sleeves. Additionally, no statistically significant difference was found in the median retention force for new (484.5 N) and clinically retrieved (476 N) nitinol sleeve specimens. Compared with a commercially available resin cement, the mean retention force for the control sleeves (480 ±37 N) was higher than that for the freshly cemented specimens (336.3 ±188 N). After 5000 cycles of compressive loads, the mean retention force for cement specimens decreased (209.4 ±83 N), while the clinical sleeves (476 ±50 N) remained unchanged.


      According to the results of this study, after 6 months of clinical use, the engaging surfaces of the shape-memory alloy sleeve did not show signs of wear, and the retention force was unchanged.
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