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Biomechanics and strain mapping in bone as related to immediately-loaded dental implants.


The effects of alveolar bone socket geometry and bone-implant contact on implant biomechanics, and resulting strain distributions in bone were investigated. Following extraction of lateral incisors on a cadaver mandible, implants were placed immediately and bone-implant contact area, stability implant biomechanics and bone strain were measured. In situ biomechanical testing coupled with micro X-ray microscopy (µ-XRM) illustrated less stiff bone-implant complexes (701-822 N/mm) compared with bone-periodontal ligament (PDL)-tooth complexes (791-913 N/mm). X-ray tomograms illustrated that the cause of reduced stiffness was due to limited bone-implant contact. Heterogeneous elemental composition of bone was identified by using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The novel aspect of this study was the application of a new experimental mechanics method, that is, digital volume correlation, which allowed mapping of strains in volumes of alveolar bone in contact with a loaded implant. The identified surface and subsurface strain concentrations were a manifestation of load transferred to bone through bone-implant contact based on bone-implant geometry, quality of bone, implant placement, and implant design. 3D strain mapping indicated that strain concentrations are not exclusive to the bone-implant contact regions, but also extend into bone not directly in contact with the implant. The implications of the observed strain concentrations are discussed in the context of mechanobiology. Although a plausible explanation of surgical complications for immediate implant treatment is provided, extrapolation of results is only warranted by future systematic studies on more cadaver specimens and/or in vivo models.

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