Introduction: Excessive surgical trauma is believed to be among the most important causes for early implant losses. As thermal injury to the bone is not only dependent on the amount of generated heat but also on the tissue exposure time, and the greatest temperature increase was found within the withdrawing period, the entire osteotomy procedure with the parameters contributing to thermal damage is of particular clinical relevance. The aim of this study was to investigate the thermal performance of metal-based and ceramic implant drills regarding the temperature exposure time during the whole osteotomy process.
Materials and methods: This investigation consisted of 240 individual preparations in total, comprising two different drilling depths (10 and 16 mm), two irrigation methods (external and without irrigation), two implant drill materials (stainless steel and zirconia), and three consecutive drill diameters per material (2.0/2.2, 2.8, and 3.5 mm) with 10 identical repetitions. Real-time multichannel temperature measurement was conducted during automated drilling procedures in standardized bovine bone specimens.
Results: The maximum temperature changes were highly associated with the time period of passive drill withdrawing (p ≤ 0.05), irrespective of drill material, drilling depth, or drill diameter. Statistically significant differences in temperature generation between stainless steel and ceramic drills were observed in irrigated testing sites at both drilling depths with smaller drill diameters (2.0/2.2 and 2.8 mm, p ≤ 0.05).
Conclusion: Results of this in vitro study could demonstrate a strong association between the highest temperature increase and the passive withdrawing time period in both investigated drill materials. Considering these findings and the resulting thermal bone damage due to the whole surgical procedure, high overall temperatures in combination with a prolonged heat exposure time may impact the future osseointegration process.
Keywords: ceramic drills; dental implant osteotomies; irrigation methods; multiple temperature sensors; shearing process; standardized testing specimens; thermal osteonecrosis; withdrawing process.
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