Validation of strain gauges as a method of measuring precision of fit of implant bars

Rashmi Hegde, Jack E. Lemons, James C. Broome, Michael S. McCracken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Multiple articles in the literature have used strain gauges to estimate the precision of fit of implant bars. However, the accuracy of these measurements has not been fully documented. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the response of strain gauges to known amounts of misfit in an implant bar. This is an important step in validation of this device. MATERIALS:: A steel block was manufactured with five 4.0-mm externally hexed implant platforms machined into the block 7-mm apart. A 1.4-cm long gold alloy bar was cast to fit 2 of the platforms. Brass shims of varying thickness (150, 300, and 500 μm) were placed under one side of the bar to create misfit. A strain gage was used to record strain readings on top of the bar, one reading at first contact of the bar and one at maximum screw torque. Microgaps between the bar and the steel platforms were measured using a high-precision optical measuring device at 4 points around the platform. The experiment was repeated 3 times. Two-way analysis of variance and linear regression were used for statistical analyses. RESULTS:: Shim thickness had a significant effect on strain (P < 0.0001). There was a significant positive correlation between shim thickness and strain (R = 0.93) for strain at maximum torque, and for strain measurements at first contact (R = 0.91). Microgap measurements showed no correlation with increasing misfit. CONCLUSIONS:: Strain in the bar increased significantly with increasing levels of misfit. Strain measurements induced at maximum torque are not necessarily indicative of the maximum strains experienced by the bar. The presence or absence of a microgap between the bar and the platform is not necessarily indicative of passivity. These data suggest that microgap may not be clinically reliable as a measure of precision of fit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalImplant Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Accuracy
  • Fit
  • Implant bar
  • Microgap
  • Passivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery


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