Research and Education| Volume 129, ISSUE 5, P763-768, May 2023

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Effect of activation rate on output torque values from a dental implant toggle-style torque wrench

Published:September 02, 2021DOI:


      Statement of problem

      The output torque delivered by a dental implant toggle-style torque wrench is known to be affected by activation rate. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) established the ISO 6789-1 standard to provide guidance on activation rates relative to desired output torque in the Nm torque range. Whether the ISO 6789-1 standard applies at the relatively lower dental torque ranges is not known, and little information is available on the activation rates that clinicians use and how this may affect output torque.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to determine how output torque values vary with the activation rates used by clinicians at dental implant-relevant target torque values.

      Material and methods

      To determine clinically relevant activation rates, a new adjustable dental implant toggle-style torque wrench was activated from 0 to 25 Ncm target torque by 5 prosthodontists by using a custom mandibular and maxillary typodont model containing implants and abutments with screws. This provided a baseline of activation rates (mm/sec). Data were transferred to a computerized numerical control model incorporating a variable speed linear motor, which was used to drive a dental implant toggle-style torque wrench attached to an electronic torque measuring device. Constant speed and a regulated dual-speed-assigned 80/20 rate group, where 80% of target torque value was delivered first, then a pause, and the final 20% at different speeds as suggested by the ISO 6789-1 standard, were evaluated. Fast, medium, and slow rates were categorized and applied with target torque values of 10, 25, and 35 Ncm, respectively, for n=12 activations. The output torque values were recorded for both constant and 80/20 groups and compared with the desired target torque values. Data were statistically analyzed with 1-way ANOVA and the Scheffé post hoc paired t test (α=.05).


      The clinicians’ activation rates from 0 to 25 Ncm on the typodont model converted into linear speeds resulted in fast =24.19 mm/sec, medium =14.5 mm/sec, and slow =7.25 mm/sec. When actioned at a constant rate, the mean output torque values were generally in the order of slow > medium > fast in activation rates. Generally, precision output torque decreased as target torque increased, especially when slow and medium rates, either constant or regulated 80/20 were used. All mean output torque for slow, medium, and their 80/20 variants were greater than target torque. Fast and 80/20 fast produced the lowest mean output torque values for all torque settings, and at the 35 Ncm setting, the dental implant toggle-style torque wrench output torque mean values were lower than target torque. Statistically significant differences (P<.05) were found among groups, most notably in the 80/20 dual-speed groups, especially in comparisons with the 80/20 fast rate group. When the target torque value was 10 Ncm with the 80/20 fast rate, the output torque value deviated from the maximum ISO limit by more than 6%.


      The rate of actioning a dental implant toggle-style torque wrench influenced the delivered torque value, with fast rate actioning producing lower and less precise output torque values.
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