The effect of steam sterilization on the accuracy of spring-style mechanical torque devices for dental implants
Seyed Jalil Sadr
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Background: Mechanical torque devices (MTDs) are one of the most commonly recommended devices used to deliver optimal torque to the screw of dental implants. Recently, high variability has been reported about the accuracy of spring-style mechanical torque devices (S-S MTDs). Joint stability and survival rate of fixed implant supported prosthesis depends on the accuracy of these devices. Currently, there is limited information on the steam sterilization influence on the accuracy of MTDs. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of steam sterilization on the accuracy (±10% of the target torque) of spring-style mechanical torque devices for dental implants. Materials and methods: Fifteen new S-S MTDs and their appropriate drivers from three different manufacturers (Nobel Biocare, Straumann [ITI], and Biomet 3i [3i] ) were selected. Peak torque of devices (5 in each subgroup) was measured before and after autoclaving using a Tohnichi torque gauge. Descriptive statistical analysis was used and a repeated-measures ANOVA with type of device as a between-subject comparison was performed to assess the difference in accuracy among the three groups of spring-style mechanical torque devices after sterilization. A Bonferroni post hoc test was used to assess pairwise comparisons. Results: Before steam sterilization, all the tested devices stayed within 10% of their target values. After 100 sterilization cycles, results didn't show any significant difference between raw and absolute error values in the Nobel Biocare and ITI devices; however the results demonstrated an increase of error values in the 3i group (P < 0.05). Raw error values increased with a predictable pattern in 3i devices and showed more than a 10% difference from target torque values (maximum difference of 14% from target torque was seen in 17% of peak torque measurements). Conclusion: Within the limitation of this study, steam sterilization did not affect the accuracy (±10% of the target torque) of the Nobel Biocare and ITI MTDs. Raw error values increased with a predictable pattern in 3i devices and showed more than 10% difference from target torque values. Before expanding upon the clinical implications, the controlled and combined effect of aging (frequency of use) and steam sterilization needs more investigation. © 2012 Mahshid et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.