<h4>Purpose</h4>To evaluate the effect of repeated screw joint closing and opening cycles and cyclic loading on abutment screw removal torque and screw thread morphology using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Three groups (n = 10 in each group) of implant-abutment-abutment screw assemblies were created. There were also 10 extra abutment screws as new screws in group 3. The abutment screws were tightened to 12 Ncm with an electronic torque meter; then they were removed and removal torque values were recorded. This sequence was repeated 5 times for group 1 and 15 times for groups 2 and 3. The same screws in groups 1 and 2 and the new screws in group 3 were then tightened to 12 Ncm; this was also followed by screw tightening to 30 Ncm and retightening to 30 Ncm 15 minutes later. Removal torque measurements were performed after screws were subjected to cyclic loading (0.5 × 10⁶ cycles; 1 Hz; 75 N). Moreover, the surface topography of one screw from each group before and after cyclic loading was evaluated with SEM and compared with an unused screw.<h4>Results</h4>All groups exhibited reduced removal torque values in comparison to insertion torque in each cycle. However, there was a steady trend of torque loss in each group. A comparison of the last cycle of the groups before loading showed significantly greater torque loss value in the 15th cycle of groups 2 and 3 compared with the fifth cycle of group 1 (P < .05). Nonetheless, torque loss values after loading were not shown to be significantly different from each other.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Using a new screw could not significantly increase the value of removal torque. It was concluded that restricting the amount of screw tightening is more important than replacing the screw with a new one when an abutment is definitively placed.
Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants (The International journal of oral & maxillofacial implants)
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