Multiple variables have been shown to influence early marginal bone loss around dental implants. Among these factors, the location of the microgap related to the alveolar crest, occlusion, crest module and soft tissue thickness were reported to be important factors for deciding the final outcome of the implant treatment. The purpose of this study was to establish a damping model to simulate the mechanical function of dental implants in the oral cavity. The experimental implant model consisted of a screw-type implant (10mm). The implant was placed into epoxy resin which was used to simulate bone tissue. In this study, two kinds of epoxy resin were used: PL-1 (with elastic moduli of 2900MPa) and PL-2 (210MPa) were used to simulate cortical bone and cancellous bone, respectively. Above bone block, a soft lining material was used to simulate the soft tissue around implant. In addition, two-implant model with various distance between implants were established to discuss the effect of soft tissue effect on the damping factors (DF) of the implant system. A noninvasive impulse-forced vibration technique was used to detect the damping factors of the implant models as previous reported. Briefly, the signal excitation was detected through the micro-phone and sent to the spectrum analyzer. The frequency response was obtained from a vibration-time histogram using Fast Fourier Transform software. The DF value of the signal dental implant model was detected to be 0.044±0.009. This value is closed to the in vivo data that was reported previously. This result showed that the model established in this study is a validated model for damping analysis. Furthermore, the DF value of a dental implant surrounded with 3mm soft tissue (0.127±0.032) is significantly higher than the implant with 2mm-surround soft tissue (0.079±0.013). In addition, implant models with larger interval distance between implants showed higher DF values. According to the results of this study, it is reasonable to suggest that dental implant surrounded with higher amount soft tissue may reduce more vibration amplitude while an occlusal force was applied to a dental implant. This vibration reducing effect may be helpful to reduce alveolar bone resorption around implants.
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