Author(s): Huja SS, Rao J, Struckhoff JA, Beck FM, Litsky AS
Maxillofacial screws are increasingly being used in orthodontics to provide anchorage for tooth movement. The objective of this study was to determine the biomechanical stability as well as the bone tissue response of screws at 6 weeks postinsertion in a canine model. Seven skeletally mature male dogs received 102 screws (2 x 6 mm or 2 x 8 mm) at predetermined sites. Twenty screws became loose or were lost during the 6-week undisturbed healing period. Forty-eight screws were randomized for mechanical testing and 34 for histology. Peak pullout strength was recorded and approximately 80-microm sections were examined for histomorphometric parameters. Statistical analyses were conducted by analysis of variance and Tukey-Kramer method. Mean +/- SE peak pullout strengths for the various sites ranged from 153.5 +/- 37.6 N to 389.3 +/- 32.5 N with no significant (P < .05) differences at immediate placement and 6 weeks postinsertion. Bone contact ranged from 79% to 95%. Histomorphometric analyses indicated higher bone formation rate in the mandible than in the maxilla and a gradient of decreasing turnover with increasing distance from the screw interface. These results provide the clinical orthodontist with an estimate of the holding power of these screws and an understanding of early biological healing response associated with self-drilling screws.