A challenging problem in dental implant surgery is to
evaluate the stability of the implant. In this simulation study, an
experimental phantom is used to represent a jawbone with a dental implant. It
is made of a little pool filled with soft-tissue equivalent material and a disc
of fresh Oakwood with a metal screw. Varying levels of contact between screw
and wood are simulated by screwing in or out the screw. Initially, the screw is
screwed in and fixed firmly in wood. Thereafter, the screw is screwed out, a
half turn each time, to increase the gap gradually between wood and screw.
Pulse-echo ultrasound is used and the power spectra of the received
echo-signals are computed. These spectra are normalized then analyzed by using
the partial least squares method to estimate the corresponding implant
stiffness grade in terms of number of turns when beginning from the initial
tight-screw state then screwing out the screw. A coefficient of determination R2 of 96.4% and a mean absolute error of ±0.23 turns are achieved when comparing
real and estimated values of stiffness grades, indicating the efficiency of
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