How many times can you torque a screw into a dental implant?
If I had a dollar for every time a doctor asked me “How many times can you torque a screw into a dental implant,” I would be retired! But I am getting smart in my old age, so I am going to start sharing this information digitally!
Rest assured, I too had this question myself for a long time until I got the information at a Nobel Biocare presentation. The technical answer from Nobel Biocare is “5 times.” While the following explanation is based on the science of Nobel Biocare products, I consider the information a good baseline for all implant systems. Nobel Biocare screws have a coating called “Torque Tight” on the surface of the screw. This material lubricates the internal threads of the implant or abutment to achieve a more true torque. According to Nobel, the 2nd and 3rd torque actually achieve the most accurate torque. The 1st time a screw is torqued, the torque tight coating is just beginning to come off in the threads of the implant or abutment. By the 2nd and 3rd time, there is already some lubrication from the torque tight helping to achieve a more accurate torque. By the 5th torque, too much of the torque tight has come off the screw to be effective.
The engineer from Nobel did go on to say that torqueing a screw more than 5 times will not break the screw, it just will not achieve as accurate of a torque. A screw will only break if it is over torqued, not torqued too many times.
If you have any more questions in regard to this subject or any denture related subject, don’t hesitate to ask. I will respond; and if you have the question, someone else will too.