Keywords: apically contactless, dental implant, primary stability, resonance frequency analysis
Purpose: The primary stability of dental implants is one of the most crucial factors for providing long-term success of osseointegration. Vertical deficiencies, such as those due to maxillary sinus pneumatization, may cause a severe vertical limitation to residual bone height. This study aimed to examine the primary stabilization of implants without apical contacts.
Materials and methods: Eighty bone-level implants (4.1-mm diameter/10-mm length) were placed into polyurethane test blocks without apical contacts. According to coronal bone-to-implant contact, groups were set as 4, 6, 8, and 10 mm, respectively. Resonance frequency analysis (RFA) using a SmartPeg was performed separately toward the transversal and horizontal axes by two independent researchers. Data were statistically compared for interobserver and among groups.
Results: Interobserver reliability varied from moderate to excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]: 0.629 to 0.985). There were no significant differences among the 6 mm, 8 mm, and 10 mm groups, although the 4 mm group showed the significantly lowest stability (P < .001). Transversal and longitudinal measurements of the same groups did not show a parallel correlation statistically.
Conclusion: RFA values may be affected by the finger torque in tightening of the SmartPeg among different researchers. Fully placed implants did not significantly show the highest stability among various apically contactless groups. Consequently, RFA should not be used alone to evaluate primary stability for implants without an apical contact.