Statement of problem
Zirconia abutments have become popular as they provide favorable esthetic outcomes. However, studies investigating how abutment material affects abutment screw torque performance and implant conical surface morphological changes in internal conical connection systems are scarce.
The purpose of this in vitro study was to investigate the influence of abutment material on abutment removal torque and implant conical surface morphological changes in internal conical connection implant–abutment assemblies of 2 diameters after simulated long-term oral use.
Material and methods
Thirty abutments of 3 materials (1-piece titanium, 1-piece zirconia, zirconia with alloy base) and 2 diameters (regular, narrow) made by the original manufacturer were connected to internal conical connection implants and subjected to a standardized artificial aging process consisting of thermal cycling and mechanical cyclic loading with parameters corresponding to anterior and posterior mastication scenarios simulating long-term oral use. An abutment removal torque test was done before and after aging. Morphological changes in the implant conical contact surface were observed with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Initial and after-aging torque loss values were calculated and analyzed separately with 1-way ANOVA and Tukey HSD post hoc tests (α=.05).
All specimens survived artificial aging. For initial and after-aging torque loss, the 1-piece zirconia groups showed significantly greater values (P<.001) for both diameters. In the SEM observation, the 1-piece zirconia groups showed distinct widespread surface damage while the other groups exhibited only minor damages.
Regardless of diameter, 1-piece zirconia abutments tend to induce more abutment removal torque loss and implant conical surface morphological changes than those with metal connections, both initially and after simulated long-term oral use. Zirconia abutments with an alloy base performed similarly to 1-piece titanium abutments.
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Published online: December 16, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Corrected Proof
Funding: Supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (grant number: JP18K17088).
© 2022 by the Editorial Council for the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry.