Before a dental implant surgeon or dentist will help fix an implant for a patient, a comprehensive evaluation must first take place. Part of this evaluation will determine if the patient is the right fit for a dental implant, as well as determining if the implant will be secure in a patient’s mouth.
A torque test falls into the latter category, but what exactly is a torque test for a dental implant?
A torque test in dental implants is like a special checkup for teeth that aren’t real. It helps the dentist ensure the tooth goes in the right way and doesn’t fail or fall out later. Think of a torque test as a safety check for your new tooth.
In this article, we will cover a torque test for a dental implant and why it matters. At the end of this article, you’ll have all the information needed before getting a dental implant procedure done.
What is Torque?
Oral surgeons use torque to define an implant’s stability. However, torque does not always correspond with implant stability.
It is a measurement of the rotational friction between the implant and the bone, as well as the force required to cut the bone if necessary and the pressure force from the surrounding bone.
Torque on dental implants is measured in Ncm 10; Ncm is equivalent to attaching a 10 cm lever to the implant and pushing it at the end with a force of 1 N (0.1 Kgf).
What is the purpose of Torque Testing?
The main reason for doing a torque test on dental implants is to be sure they’re stable and strong. Imagine building a table; you want to ensure all the legs are screwed on tight so the table doesn’t wobble or fall apart. In the same way, a torque test checks if the dental implant is firmly attached to your jawbone.
Doing this test helps dentists ensure the implant won’t move around or break easily when you chew or talk. This is important as you won’t want your new tooth to cause problems down the road.
So, think of the torque test as a safety check for your dental implant, ensuring it’s strong and secure, just like a well-built table.
Procedure of Torque Testing
Doing a torque test on a dental implant involves using some tools. These tools are like the wrench you might use to tighten a bolt. Here’s how it works:
- The dentist uses a precise torque wrench and a special attachment that fits on the implant.
- The dentist will attach the wrench to the implant and gently turn it.
- This turning creates a twisting force.
- The dentist will measure how much force it takes to turn the implant.
- The dentist will carefully measure and write down the amount of force needed to turn the implant.
- This measurement tells them if the implant is secure or needs some adjustments.
Factors Affecting Torque Test Results
When doing a torque test on a dental implant, a few things can change how it turns out. It’s important to know these factors because they can affect whether the implant is secure or not. Here are some factors that can affect a torque test result:
Bone Density and Quality
The quality and density of the bone in the jaw need to be balanced. The quality and thickness of your jawbone can affect how well the implant holds on.
Implant Design and Type
Not all dental implants are the same. Some are bigger, and some are smaller. The shape and size of the implant can influence how much force it can handle during the torque test.
A dentist’s skill in placing the implant matters, and the skill with which they put in the implant can impact how well it stays in place.
Implant Site Location
Where the implant goes in your mouth can also make a difference. Some areas may be more challenging to work with than others, which can affect the torque test results.
These factors can make the torque test results change a bit. Your dentist will need to consider all these factors to ensure your new tooth stays put and works well.
Interpreting Torque Test Results
Interpreting the outcomes of a torque test in dental implant procedures is akin to reading the vital signs of your implant’s stability. What do the numbers mean, and how do they impact the effectiveness of your dental implant?
What is the Ideal Torque Value?
Dentists have a range of torque values that they know work well for most people. The ideal torque value is between 30-32 Ncm. If the torque value falls within this range, it’s a good sign that the implant is secure.
Over-Torque and Under-Torque
If the torque is too high (over-torque) or too low (under-torque), this can be a problem. Over-torque can damage the implant, while under-torque means it might not be secure enough.
Adjustments and Decisions
Depending on the torque test results, the dentist might need to make some changes. They might need to bring it down to fit if it’s over-torqued. If it’s under-torqued, they might need to tighten it more.
The torque test results tell the dentist if the implant is in the right spot—not too tight or loose. If not, they adjust it to ensure your new tooth stays in place and works well.
What are the pros and cons of torque tests?
Let’s explore the benefits and limitations of torque tests to help you understand what they are. This will help you make an informed assessment of their role in ensuring dental implant success.
- Torque testing ensures your dental implant is secure and won’t cause problems later.
- Dentists can use the test to adjust the implant to your specific needs
- Torque testing helps ensure your new tooth lasts a long time
- Torque tests give the dentist a good idea but aren’t 100% accurate.
- Your dentist’s torque test skill matters. If they’re not careful, the results might not be right.
- Your jawbone and the implant itself can vary. This can make the test results unpredictable.
Get Your Dental Implant Done At Hanna Dental Implant Center
Torque testing is helpful, but it’s not foolproof. Dentists use it to make your dental implant as safe and long-lasting as possible. Choosing a qualified dental implant specialist with expertise in conducting accurate torque tests for dental implant placement is paramount for a successful procedure.
When you choose Hanna Dental for your dental implants in Houston, TX, we give you a patient form where you input your medical history. This helps us to assess your oral health and provide a tailored and personalized plan for your dental implant procedure.
Our holistic approach to dentistry offers a range of benefits that ensure a positive experience and exceptional results. To avoid the complications of infection after a dental implant procedure, we give our patients specific and personalized instructions on maintaining excellent oral hygiene.
When you choose Hanna Dental, you choose a team dedicated to oral health, comfort, and satisfaction. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards having a confident smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean to torque a dental implant?
To torque a dental implant means to use a special tool called a torque wrench to measure and adjust the force applied to the implant screw during the implant placement procedure. This ensures the implant is securely attached to the jawbone, preventing problems like loosening or failure.
How many times can you torque an implant screw?
You should aim to torque the implant screw only once during the initial placement procedure. Repeated torque attempts can damage the implant or compromise its stability. Getting it right the first time is crucial with careful planning and measurement.
When should I torque test my implant?
The torque test is performed during the dental implant placement procedure. It’s critical to ensure the implant is properly secured to the jawbone. Dentists use the torque test to determine the ideal tightness and make necessary adjustments right then and there. It’s not something done separately; it’s an integral part of the implant surgery.