Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the micromorphological differences among three commercially available titanium abutments on Straumann implants. Furthermore, the possible impact of functional loading on the micromorphology and potential complications was investigated with the use of in vitro testing.
Material and methods: Three groups of Titanium abutments (A: Straumann Variobase n = 5, B: EBI best Duo n = 5, and C: Implant Direct n = 5) were torqued on Straumann RN implants, as according to each of the manufacturer's instructions. The implant-abutment units were scanned with Micro-CT. Three units of each group were directly sliced in the microtome and photographed under different magnifications (10×-500×) through a Scanning Electron Microscope. Six units (two from each group) were restored with cement-retained crowns, subjected to 2000,000 load cycles with loads between 30 and 300 N at 2 Hz, examined through Micro-CT and finally sliced and photographed as described above. The micromorphology of each unit was studied, and the total length of tight contact (<3 μm) was calculated between the implant, abutment and screw contact areas.
Results: Major morphological differences were identified between the three units, as well as differences in the extent of tight contact in all areas examined. Despite the morphological differences, the 2M cycles of loading via in vitro test did not result in any noticeable complications although some changes in the micromorphology were observed.
Conclusion: The examined implant-abutment units presented with major morphological differences. Two million cycles of in vitro loading did not appear to affect the stability of the units despite the micromorphological changes. These results need to be interpreted however under the limitations of the small sample size and the specific set-up of the in vitro testing.
Keywords: imaging; material sciences; prosthodontics; radiology.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.