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Clin Oral Implants Res. 2014 Jun;25(6):665-74. doi: 10.1111/clr.12032. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Thermal effects of a combined irrigation method during implant site drilling. A standardized in vitro study using a bovine rib model.

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Department of Oral Surgery, Bernhard Gottlieb University Clinic of Dentistry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the temperature changes during implant osteotomies with a combined irrigation system as compared to the commonly used external and internal irrigation under standardized conditions.


Drilling procedures were performed on VII bovine ribs using a computer-aided surgical system that ensured automated intermittent drilling cycles to simulate clinical conditions. A total of 320 drilling osteotomies were performed with twist (2 mm) and conical implant drills (3.5/4.3/5 mm) at various drilling depths (10/16 mm) and with different saline irrigation (50 ml/min) methods (without/external/internal/combined). Temperature changes were recorded in real time by two custom-built thermoprobes with 14 temperature sensors (7 sensors/thermoprobe) at defined measuring depths.


The highest temperature increase during osteotomies was observed without any coolant irrigation (median, 8.01°C), followed by commonly used external saline irrigation (median, 2.60°C), combined irrigation (median, 1.51°C) and ultimately with internal saline irrigation (median, 1.48°C). Temperature increase with different drill diameters showed significant differences (P < 0.05) regarding drill depth, confirming drill depth and time of drilling as influencing factors of heat generation. Internal saline irrigation showed a significantly smaller temperature increase (P < 0.05) compared with combined and external irrigation. A combined irrigation procedure appears to be preferable (P < 0.05) to an external irrigation method primarily with higher osteotomy depths.


Combined irrigation provides sufficient reduction in temperature changes during drilling, and it may be more beneficial in deeper site osteotomies. Further studies to optimize the effects of a combined irrigation are needed.


bone drilling; combined irrigation; dental implants; heat generation; implant drills; implant preparation; multiple temperature sensors; thermal osteonecrosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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