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WINTER 2009/2010 ISSUE
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Mechanical Testing of Inclusive® Custom Abutments
inclusive abutment testing


Glidewell Laboratories' R&D Department Manager Grant Bullis explains the process of the mechanical testing of Inclusive Custom Abutments. Grant describes the superior materials used in these CAD/CAM-fabricated abutments, as well as the rigorous testing performed on the final products.

bullis   Grant Bullis
Manager, Research & Development, Glidewell Laboratories
Newport Beach, CA
800-839-9755 Ext.1948
Grant Bullis, Glidewell Laboratories' Research & Development Department Manager, began his career in the dental industry at Steri-Oss in 1997. After Nobel Biocare acquired Steri-Oss, Grant worked in the R&D department, where he was responsible for the development of implants, prosthetics, surgical tools and packaging. Today, Grant manages CAD/CAM, implant product development and manufacturing at Glidewell. Since joining the lab in March 2007, he has obtained FDA 510K clearances for Inclusive Titanium and Zirconia Custom Abutments on six major implant platforms and now directs manufacturing for more than 150 implant laboratory and prosthetic components. Grant has a degree in mechanical CAD/CAM from Irvine Valley College in Orange County, Calif., and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.


Glidewell Laboratories offers three options for custom implant abutments under the Inclusive® brand: Titanium, Zirconia with Titanium Insert and All-Zirconia. We use your implant level impression and provide a tailor-made CAD/CAM solution that is fabricated to fit your patients' individual needs. The margin and gingival contours are designed to ensure ideal soft and hard tissue esthetics. The abutment height and the emergence profile are precisely milled from machined blanks to facilitate gingival health and prosthetic support, resulting in a superior restoration. Extensive testing is performed, and high-strength materials are utilized to provide a consistent, high-quality product.

Superior Materials

The high strength of Inclusive Titanium Abutments begins with material selection. The titanium abutments are precisely machined from ASTM grade 23 alloy titanium. Grade 23 titanium has a minimum yield strength of 760 MPa before plastic deformation occurs, compared to the 480 MPa minimum yield strength of grade 4 commercially pure titanium used for many abutments. Glidewell Laboratories uses titanium abutment blanks (Fig. 1) that are manufactured on Swiss-style CNC automatic lathes utilized throughout the implant industry.

For ceramic materials such as zirconia, flexural strength is used to measure the strength of the material in bending. Inclusive All-Zirconia Abutments are machined from high-strength zirconia with a flexural strength of 1500 MPa. Zirconia with Titanium Insert Abutments include a metal insert and provide a titanium-to-titanium abutment-implant interface. The insert is permanently cemented with 3M ESPE RelyX (St. Paul, MN) to the zirconia section in the lab. Zirconia abutment blanks are manufactured on five-axis CNC mills. The entire manufacturing process is tightly controlled, from material issue to final inspection, to ensure quality and consistency.


Rigorous Testing

Abutment-to-implant compatibility requires manufacturing the prosthetic components to very close tolerances. Further, the mechanical function and performance of the abutment/ implant assembly should be determined by fatigue testing that approximates actual-use conditions. Fatigue-strength testing based on the ISO 14801 protocol was conducted on the implant/abutment assemblies to determine fatigue strength. Fatigue-strength testing was performed at an independent laboratory on both Inclusive Titanium and All-Zirconia Custom Implant Abutments for every implant system offered.

The fatigue strength is the maximum force that the assembly can withstand after cyclical loading at a frequency of 14Hz. Testing is typically done on the smallest, and therefore the weakest, diameter implant. In this test, 3.5 mm (NP) Inclusive All-Zirconia Abutments had a fatigue strength of 289 - 333 N after 5 million cycles (Fig. 2). To put it in perspective, the bite forces in the anterior region where zirconia would be primarily indicated have been reported in the range of 109 to 299N.1,2

Inclusive Custom Implant Abutments

  • Inclusive Titanium Abutments provide strength and biocompatibility; primarily indicated to support posterior restorations.
  • Inclusive All-Zirconia Abutments provide superior esthetics without sacrificing durability; ideal for an- terior restorations.
  • Inclusive Zirconia with Titanium Insert Abutments are another esthetic option that maximizes strength; they are best suited for anterior restorations.


The All-Zirconia Abutment (View Image) is available for the following implant systems:

  • NobelReplace
  • Biomet 3i Certain®
  • Zimmer Screw-Vent®

The Titanium and the Zirconia with Titanium Insert Abutments (View Image) are available for:

  • Neoss
  • NobelReplace
  • NobelActive
  • Branemark System® RP
  • Biomet 3i Certain®
  • Zimmer Screw-Vent®
  • Straumann® Bone Level

The Clear Choice

Inclusive Custom Implant Abutments provide an array of benefits that ultimately lead to superior final restorations. A variety of options including All-Zirconia, Titanium and Zirconia with Titanium Insert allow you to work with a ma- terial that best meets the needs of you and your patients. Mechanical testing results show that you can count on a dependable abutment that maintains long-term prosthetic function.



1. Helkimo E, Carlsson GE, Helkimo M. Bite forces used during chewing of food. J Dent Res 1959;29:133-136.
2. Waltimo A, Könö╠łnen A. A novel bite force recorder and maximal isometric bite force values for healthy young adults. Scand J Dent Res 1993;1001:171-175.

Branemark System is a registered trademark of Nobel Biocare. NobelReplace and NobelActive are trademarks of Nobel Biocare.

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