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Biomechanics of the press-fit phenomenon in dental implantology: an image-based finite element analysis

Gianni Frisardi12*, Sandro Barone3, Armando V Razionale3, Alessandro Paoli3, Flavio Frisardi1, Antonio Tullio4, Aurea Lumbau4 and Giacomo Chessa2

Author Affiliations

1 Epochè, Orofacial Pain Center, Nettuno, Rome, Italy

2 Department of Prosthetic Rehabilitation, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy

3 Department of Mechanical, Nuclear and Production Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

4 Department of Surgery, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy

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Head & Face Medicine 2012, 8:18  doi:10.1186/1746-160X-8-18

Published: 29 May 2012



A fundamental pre-requisite for the clinical success in dental implant surgery is the fast and stable implant osseointegration. The press-fit phenomenon occurring at implant insertion induces biomechanical effects in the bone tissues, which ensure implant primary stability. In the field of dental surgery, the understanding of the key factors governing the osseointegration process still remains of utmost importance. A thorough analysis of the biomechanics of dental implantology requires a detailed knowledge of bone mechanical properties as well as an accurate definition of the jaw bone geometry.


In this work, a CT image-based approach, combined with the Finite Element Method (FEM), has been used to investigate the effect of the drill size on the biomechanics of the dental implant technique. A very accurate model of the human mandible bone segment has been created by processing high resolution micro-CT image data. The press-fit phenomenon has been simulated by FE analyses for different common drill diameters (DA = 2.8 mm, DB = 3.3 mm, and DC = 3.8 mm) with depth L = 12 mm. A virtual implant model has been assumed with a cylindrical geometry having height L = 11 mm and diameter D = 4 mm.


The maximum stresses calculated for drill diameters DA, DB and DC have been 12.31 GPa, 7.74 GPa and 4.52 GPa, respectively. High strain values have been measured in the cortical area for the models of diameters DA and DB, while a uniform distribution has been observed for the model of diameter DC . The maximum logarithmic strains, calculated in nonlinear analyses, have been ϵ = 2.46, 0.51 and 0.49 for the three models, respectively.


This study introduces a very powerful, accurate and non-destructive methodology for investigating the effect of the drill size on the biomechanics of the dental implant technique.

Further studies could aim at understanding how different drill shapes can determine the optimal press-fit condition with an equally distributed preload on both the cortical and trabecular structure around the implant.