Purpose: To evaluate the mechanical properties and behavior of a self-locking taper connection with three different techniques: three-dimensional finite element analysis (FEA), ultimate failure loading, and cyclic loading analysis.
Materials and methods: The implant-abutment complex was embedded vertically in the center of an acrylic resin support block (Young's modulus > 3 GPa). All materials used in this study were assumed to be homogenous and isotropic, but while the resin was assumed to be linearly elastic, the titanium was assumed to have a multilinear behavior to better represent the implant system in its plastic phase and to compare as closely as possible the numeric simulation with the experimental tests. An 800-N 30-degree off-axis load was applied to the occlusal surface of the abutment. In addition to the FEA, static and dynamic tests were carried out.
Results: The greatest von Mises stresses were concentrated in the coronal portion of the abutment's tapered connection, while at the implant neck they were lower and less extensive than the abutment ones. Experimental results confirmed the FEA findings, in which the structural limit of the system was reached, with permanent deformation of the abutment that exceeded a predefined limit, rather than fracture.
Conclusion: Within the limitations of the reported analyses, these static and dynamic tests appear to supply congruent results, thus allowing evaluation of the mechanical behavior of a self-locking tapered-connection implant system. High resistance to an off-axis load was exhibited, exceeding that usually offered by screw-retained implant systems, thus indicating good stability of the implant-abutment connection.