Implant-abutment fit influences the mechanical performance of single-crown prostheses

Ilana S. Ramalho, Edmara T.P. Bergamo, Lukasz Witek, Paulo G. Coelho, Adolfo C.O. Lopes, Estevam A. Bonfante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To evaluate the three-dimensional fit of abutments fabricated by the industry to those either milled or cast by a commercial laboratory and to correlate the implant-abutment connection fit with stress at fatigue failure of prostheses. Probability of survival (reliability) and fractography to characterize failure modes were also performed for cemented and screw-retained prostheses. Methods: One-hundred and twenty-six maxillary central incisor crowns were milled to restore implants and divided in 3 cemented and 3 screwed-retained groups (n = 21/each), as follows: [Digital-Sc]: milled one-piece monolithic abutment/crown; [TiB-Sc]: milled crowns cemented onto Ti-base abutments; [UCLA]: screw-retained crown using UCLA abutments; [Digital-Ce]: milled two-piece assembly comprised by screwed monolithic abutment and a cemented crown; [TiB–Ce]: milled coping cemented onto Ti-base abutments to receive a cemented crown; [UCLA-Ce]: UCLA abutments that received an overcast coping and a cemented crown. Implant-abutment volume misfit was assessed by micro-computed tomography using the silicone replica technique. Implant/crown systems were subjected to step-stress accelerated life testing (SSALT) in water. The use-level probability Weibull curves and reliability for a mission of 50,000 cycles at calculated stress at failure of 2,300, 3300 and 4300 MPa were plotted. Fractographic analysis was performed with scanning electron microscopy. Internal misfit was analyzed through one-way ANOVA following post-hoc comparisons by Tukey test (p < 0.05). Correlation between misfit volume and the stress at fatigue failure was assessed by Pearson test. Results: Similar misfit volumes were observed for TiB-Sc (0.458 mm3), TiB–Ce (0.461 mm3), UCLA (0.471 mm3) and UCLA-Ce (0.480 mm3), which were significantly lower than Digital-Sc (0.676 mm3) and Digital-Ce (0.633 mm3). The mean β values were: 1.68, 1.39, 1.48, 2.41, 2.27 and 0.71 for Digital-Sc, TiB-Sc, UCLA, Digital-Ce, TiB–Ce and UCLA-Ce, respectively, indicating that fatigue was an accelerating factor for failure of all groups. Higher stress at failure decreased the reliability of all groups, more significantly for screw compared to cement-retained groups, especially for Digital-Sc that demonstrated the lowest reliability. The failure mode was restricted to abutment screw fracture. A negative correlation was observed between misfit values and stress at failure (r = -0.302, p = 0.01). Conclusions: Abutments milled by a commercial lab presented higher misfit compared to those provided by the industry and a moderate correlation was observed between higher misfit and lower stress at failure during fatigue. Probability of survival decreased at higher stress, especially for screw compared to cement-retained groups, and failures were confined to abutment screws.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103506
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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