Using a two-dimensional axisymmetric finite element analysis technique, different geometrical configurations of implants, abutments, and interfaces have been investigated to alter the stress distribution in the crestal bone region. The crestal bone region is of particular interest due to observations of progressive bone resorption (saucerization). The ability of a prosthetic restoration-implant construct to transfer an appropriate stress at this region will, by definition of Wolff's law (bone's response to strain) and principles of bone remodeling, help to maintain the integrity of the surrounding bone via force transfer. The two geometries investigated involved a traditional flat mating surface and a slanted (oblique) mating surface. In both models a vertical load of 400 N (63 N/rad across 2 pi radians) was applied to the abutment apex. In the crestal bone region the oblique mating surface increased the transfer of horizontal stress 67 percent over the traditional flat mating surface design. The magnitude of stress transferred and the area which it was transferred across was increased in this region. Results indicate potentially more favorable mechanical conditions for bone maintenance surrounding an endosseous dental implant may be achieved if force is transferred preferentially via circumferential grooves and an oblique (dished) implant-abutment mating surface. These theoretical results are consistent with basic principles of stress transfer, stress shielding, and remodeling as well as clinical observations of bone maintenance and resorption. (Implant Dent 1992;1:212-217)
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