Heat generation during removal of an abutment screw fragment from dental implants

Sergio R. Arias, Frederick A. Rueggeberg, Donald Mettenburg, Mohamed Sharawy, Stephen Looney, Ranya Elsayed, Mohammed Elsayed Elsalanty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Statement of problem: Little information is available on the effect of drilling speed on surrounding bone during the removal of an abutment screw fragment. Purpose: The purpose of this in vitro study was to compare, in vitro, the peak temperature increase during the removal of fractured abutment screws from implants placed in a porcine mandible, using drilling speeds of 600 or 2000 rpm. Material and methods: Twenty 4.3×13-mm dental implants were placed in 10 dissected porcine mandibles: 2 implants per mandible, 1 on each side. Localized defects were created in 20 surface-treated abutment screws, which were then tightened into each implant until a reproducible fracture occurred in each screw. The fractured screws were removed with a handpiece removal kit and irrigated with room-temperature water at either 600 or 2000 rpm. The temperature rise at the implant surface was measured at 3 levels with 3 type-K thermocouples. Repeated measure ANOVA was performed with the Tukey-Kramer post hoc test for mean pair-wise comparisons (α=.05 for all tests). Results: Mean peak temperatures were significantly higher at 2000 rpm than at 600 rpm in the mid-body (P<.001) and crestal (P=.003) regions but not in the apical (P=.225) implant locations. No significant differences in mean peak temperatures were found among the 3 locations using 600 rpm (P=.179). In the 2000-rpm group, mean peak temperature in the mid-body area was consistently higher than that in the apical (P<.001) area, and more instances of temperature rise above 56°C and 60°C were observed. In 1 implant from this group, the estimated peak temperature exceeded the bone damage threshold value (50°C for 30 seconds). Conclusions: A drilling speed of 2000 rpm during the removal of abutment screw fragments caused overheating of the outer surface of the implant which may damage the surrounding bone; a speed of 600 rpm appears to be safe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-625
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery


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