Conical implant-abutment connections are popular for their excellent connection stability, which is attributable to frictional resistance in the connection. However, conical angles, the inherent design parameter of conical connections, exert opposing effects on 2 influencing factors of the connection stability: frictional resistance and abutment rigidity. This pilot study employed an optimization approach through the finite element method to obtain an optimal conical angle for the highest connection stability in an Ankylos-based conical connection system. A nonlinear 3-dimensional finite element parametric model was developed according to the geometry of the Ankylos system (conical half angle ¼ 5.78) by using the ANSYS 11.0 software. Optimization algorithms were conducted to obtain the optimal conical half angle and achieve the minimal value of maximum von Mises stress in the abutment, which represents the highest connection stability. The optimal conical half angle obtained was 10.18. Compared with the original design (5.78), the optimal design demonstrated an increased rigidity of abutment (36.4%) and implant (25.5%), a decreased microgap at the implant-abutment interface (62.3%), a decreased contact pressure (37.9%) with a more uniform stress distribution in the connection, and a decreased stress in the cortical bone (4.5%). In conclusion, the methodology of design optimization to determine the optimal conical angle of the Ankylos-based system is feasible. Because of the heterogeneity of different systems, more studies should be conducted to define the optimal conical angle in various conical connection designs.
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