Metallic dental implants are exposed to various intraoral environments and repetitive loads during service. Relatively few studies have systematically addressed the potential influence of the environment on the mechanical integrity of the implants, which is therefore the subject of this study.Four media (groups) were selected for room temperature testing, namely dry air, saliva substitute, same with 250ppm of fluoride, and saline solution (0.9%). Monolithic Ti–6Al–4V implants were loaded until fracture, using random spectrum loading.The study reveals that the only aggressive medium of all is the saline solution, as it shortens significantly the spectrum fatigue life of the implants. The quantitative scanning electron fractographic analysis indicates that all the tested implants grew fatigue cracks of similar lengths prior to catastrophic fracture. However, the average crack growth rate in the saline medium was found to largely exceed that in other media, suggesting a decreased fracture toughness.The notion of a characteristic timescale for environmental degradation was proposed to explain the results of our spectrum tests that blend randomly low and high cycle fatigue.Random spectrum fatigue testing is powerful technique to assess and compare the mechanical performance of dental implants for various designs and/or environments.
Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2016
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