A Comparitive Clinical Study Between Self Tapping and Drill Free Screws as a Source of Rigid Orthodontic Anchorage
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Background and Objectives
Self-tapping miniscrews are commonly being used as a temporary anchorage device for orthodontic purpose. A prerequisite for the insertion of these screws is the preparation of a pilot hole, which is time consuming and may result in damage to nerves, tooth root, drill bit breakage and thermal necrosis of bone. On the other hand the design of drill-free screws enables them to be inserted without drilling. The aim of this prospective study was to compare the stability and clinical response of the soft tissue around the self tapping and drill free screws when used for orthodontic anchorage for en mass retraction of maxillary anterior teeth.
Materials and Methods
The study sample consisted of 20 patients requiring retraction of maxillary anterior teeth. The screws were placed in the alveolar bone between maxillary 2nd premolar and 1st molar bilaterally at the junction of attached gingiva and moveable mucosa. Pilot hole was drilled on the side which was selected for insertion of the self tapping screw under copious irrigation, after which it was inserted. Drill free screw was inserted on the contralateral side without predrilling. All screws were immediately loaded with 150–200 gm of retraction force. Patients were recalled for regular follow up for a period of 6 months. If the screws became mobile or showed any signs of inflammation during the course of the study, they were considered to be a failure.
After a period of 6 months an overall success rate of 77.5% was noted. Four self tapping and five drill-free screws failed during the study. There was no statistically significant difference between the two types of screws with respect to success/failure. Mobility was found to be the major cause for the failure.
Both self-tapping and the drill-free screws are effective anchorage units. But the latter have an edge over the conventional self-tapping screws because of decrease in operative time, little bone debris, less thermal damage, lower morbidity, and minimal patient discomfort as predrilling is not required, thus they can be used as a viable alternative. But self-tapping screws are still recommended for areas with high bone density and thick cortical bone.