One notable complication of mini-implants that are used to provide anchorage in orthodontic treatment is loosening. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between mini-implant mobility during the healing phase and the prognosis for implant stability.
Twenty male Wistar rats (aged 20 weeks) were used. Drills with diameters of 0.8, 0.9, 1.0, and 1.1 mm were used to make pilot holes in the rat tibiae. The inserted mini-implants (diameter 1.4 mm; spearhead 1.2 mm; halfway between maximum and minimum 1.3 mm; length 4.0 mm) were subjected to an experimental traction of force for 3 weeks. Bone-to-implant contact (BIC) was observed histologically. Another 20 male rats (aged 20 weeks) underwent an identical procedure, and the stability of the mini-implants was measured using the Periotest before and after traction. The data were statistically analysed using Scheffé’s test.
The BIC ratios of the 0.9 and 1.0 mm groups were significantly greater than those of the other groups. The Periotest values measured 3 weeks after implant insertion were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those measured at insertion, except in the 1.1 mm group. To obtain mini-implant stability, the hole diameter should be between 69 and 77 per cent of the diameter of the mini-implant. A significant decrease in the mobility of the mini-implants 3 weeks post-insertion implies a good prognosis for the subsequent mini-implant stability.