Threshold of tactile sensitivity perceived with dental endosseous implants and natural teeth

Clin Oral Implants Res. 1995 Jun;6(2):83-90. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0501.1995.060203.x.


The aim of this study was to determine the threshold of tactile perception of endosseous dental implants and to assess the relative difference of that threshold between implants and teeth. Twenty-two subjects with implants of the ITI Dental Implant System were included in the study. All implants served as abutments for single tooth crowns and had been in function for a minimum of 1 year. A strain gauge glued to the shaft of an amalgam plugger served as a force sensor. It transformed the elastic deformation exerted onto the shaft into an electronic signal for recording. By use of the amalgam plugger, a continuously increasing force was exercised on the implants or teeth until the first sensation of touch was indicated by the patient. Statistical analysis revealed threshold values for the implants ranging from 13.2 to 189.4 g (1 g = 0.01 N) (mean 100.6; SD 47.7), while a range of 1.2 to 26.2 g (mean 11.5; SD 11.5) was found for control teeth. Thus, the mean threshold values for implants were 8.75 times higher than for teeth. This difference was highly statistically significant. A general linear models procedure was applied to determine the influence of patient age, jaw, implant position and the threshold values of teeth on the measurements obtained for implants. Only gender and the threshold values for contralateral teeth had a significant influence. These 2 parameters together explained 27% of the variability in threshold measurements. It is concluded that a more than 8-fold higher threshold value for tactile perception exists for implants compared with teeth.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alveolar Process / innervation
  • Bite Force
  • Dental Implants*
  • Dental Stress Analysis / instrumentation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Middle Aged
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensory Thresholds*
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tooth / physiology*
  • Touch / physiology*


  • Dental Implants