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Table of Contents
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 165-167

Micro implants for orthodontic anchorage: A review of complications and management

1 Department of Orthodontics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Science, Kothamangalam, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Science, Kothamangalam, Ernakulam, Kerala, India

Date of Web Publication25-Sep-2013

Correspondence Address:
Sanu Tom Abraham
29/2950E, Sree Subramaya Temple Road, Poonithura Ernakualm, Ernakulam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-6781.118859

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Orthodontic micro implants play an integral role in providing anchorage for orthodontic tooth movement. The success of implant depends on the device, dentist, and patient. This article gives an overview of the possible complications and management of implants used in orthodontics.

Keywords: Micro implant anchorage, orthodontic implants, Temporary anchorage device

How to cite this article:
Abraham ST, Paul MM. Micro implants for orthodontic anchorage: A review of complications and management. J Dent Implant 2013;3:165-7

How to cite this URL:
Abraham ST, Paul MM. Micro implants for orthodontic anchorage: A review of complications and management. J Dent Implant [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Dec 11];3:165-7. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Anchorage control is an important factor in the success of orthodontic treatment. There have been many attempts to devise suitable anchorage methods, including intra-oral and extra-oral appliances.

These conventional methods do not provide reliable anchorage without patient compliance and anchor loss. When using skeletal anchorage such as osseous dental implants, miniplates, [1] microscrews, [2],[3] or microscrews, [4],[5],[6],[7] the clinician can expect reliable anchorage without patient compliance. Among these anchorage devices, microscrew implants have been increasingly used in orthodontic anchorage because of their absolute anchorage, low cost, easy placement, and removal. The small size of microscrew implants allow them to be placed in the bone between the teeth, thus expanding their clinical application. The success of the dental implant has been studied extensively. However, very few studies have been conducted on this complication and management.

This article gives a review of the factors related to the clinical success of microscrew implants used in orthodontics as absolute anchorage.

The success of the micro implant anchorage is dependent on factors;

  1. Micro screw design,
  2. Proper insertion site,
  3. Careful operation.

Securing a firm initial fixation is the first step towards success of treatment [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Micro implant.

Click here to view

Implant failures

Immediate failures

Immediate failure [8] or loosening of the mini screw usually occurs during the initial healing period. Possible causes include:

  • Improper insertion site
  • Improper handling during insertion including wobbling or abrupt change in position of insertion. In case of self-drilling screws, excessive pressure at the time of insertion will fracture the cutting tip of the implant. Therefore, it is advisable to use a very light force at the time of insertion
  • Insertion site with cortical bone thickness less than 0.5 mm and low trabecular bone density, this can be overcome by selecting better insertion site with this implant as an indirect anchorage site
  • Recent extraction sockets
  • Redundant overlying soft tissue or the patient having thick mucosa. The distance between the point where force is applied and the screw's center of resistance is increased, thus a large moment is generated when force is applied. So, better to use a long screw
  • Excessive tightened screws tend to fracture at the time when the neck has reached periosteum.

Delayed failures

Even if the initial fixation appeared favorable, micro screw loosening may take place during active orthodontic treatment. The exact reason for delayed failure is unknown.

Possible reasons include:

  • Excessive loading from the elastic component
  • Sudden impact on the microscrew head during mastication
  • Possible contact with root surface
  • Excessive or insufficient bone remodeling around the microscrew
  • Indicating a possible shift of the microscrew in the bone.

A failed microscrew needs to be removed and a new implant be inserted at an adjacent site. Re-insertion at the same site may increase the risk of failure. If the particular insertion site is crucial, using a microscrew with a wider diameter of re-insertion, 2-3 months later, is advised.


Inflammation or an abscess is relatively rare if the microscrew is placed on the firm attached gingiva, as long as proper oral hygiene is maintained during treatment.

Ulceration or soft tissue coverage is associated with microscrew placed on or near the buccal frenum. [9] An incisional frenectomy can be performed if the insertion is critically indicated in the frenum area. The periodontal dressing around the microscrew for 1 week adapts the soft tissue and periosteum of the insertion site back to the bone surface and prevents the head of microscrew from embedding into soft tissue.

Ulceration of the buccal mucosa or cheek can be managed by application of Orabase and allowed for initial healing for 1-2 weeks.

Infection around the screws can be eliminated by selecting a screw system with variable neck length.

The screw with bracket-like head is used; turning a ligature around the screw or fix the ligature with composite will make it possible for the patient to keep the screw area free of inflammation.

The risk of infection is high when flap surgery was needed; so, it is better to use an implant system that does not need a pre-drilling.

Root damage

Damage to root or cementum can happen during the insertion of implants. It is extremely important not to use a complete nerve block so that patient is aware of any pain or soreness as the microscrew approaches the periodontal ligament of the dental root. Pain or soreness means the microscrew must be removed immediately and redirected to avoid dental root injury.

Antibiotics may be unnecessary after microscrew insertion. When preoperative disinfection has been performed intraorally and extraorally -2% chlorhexidine is recommended for post-operative care.

Implant fracture

Fracture of a microscrew [10] is rare if the diameter is greater than 1.5 mm and especially if the microscrew is tapered/conical guide drill is advised to avoid implant fracture.

Bleeding and numbness

Intra-operative complications. Excessive bleeding or numbness can occur as a complication of implantation; this can be due to trauma of vessel (palatine artery) or trauma of nerve (inferior alveolar nerve). However, care should be taken not to injure the nerve bundle or vascular system during implantation. Greater palatine foramen is positioned distal to the upper second molar and midway between the cemento-enamel junction (CEJ) and mid-palate. The rest of the masticatory gingival on palatal slope is safe area for implantation.


Pain related to microscrew operation comes from the nerve endings in the soft tissue and periosteum, not necessarily from bone proper. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) [11] for 2 days following the procedure would be sufficient.

Oroantral communication

Implantation in nasal or maxillary sinus can lead to this complication. Pre-determination of the implant site placement can overcome this complication.

Other causes of micro implant failure

Failure due to osteoporosis and uncontrolled diabetes, smoking, alcoholism, drug abusers, irradiation etc. [12]

Implant fracture during removal

Fracture can happen if there is too much osseointegration; clinician might have difficulty in removing the screws, or they can fracture. [13]

   Conclusion Top

The microscrew implants can be used as absolute anchorage in routine orthodontic cases. Implant failure can involve factors related to the device, the dentist, and the patient.

Further research and studies are needed to shed additional light on process involved in skeletal anchorage so that failures can be reduced even further.

   References Top

1.Umemori M, Sugawara J, Mitani H, Nagasaka H, Kawamura H. Skeletal anchorage system for open-bite correction. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 1999;115:166-74.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Creekmore TD, Eklund MK. The possibility of skeletal anchorage. J Clin Orthod 1983;17:266-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Costa A, Raffani M, Melsen B. Miniscrews as orthodontic anchorage: A preliminary report. Int J Adult Orthodon Orthognath Surg 1998;13:201-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Kanomi R. Mini-implant for orthodontic anchorage. J Clin Orthod 1997;31:763-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Park HS. The skeletal cortical anchorage using titanium micro-screw implants. Korean J Orthod 1999;29:699-706.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Park HS. The use of micro-implant as orthodontic anchorage. Seoul, Korea: Narae; 2001.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Park HS, Kwon TG, Sung JH. None extraction treatment with microscrew implants. Angle Orthod 2004;74:539-49.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Park HS, Jeong SH, Kwon OW. Factors affecting the clinical success of screw implants used as orthodontic anchorage. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2006;130:18-25.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Bae SM, Park HS, Kyung HM, Kwon OW, Sung JH. Clinical application of micro-implant anchorage. J Clin Orthod 2002;36:298-302.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Park HS. Clinical study on success rate of micro screw implants for orthodontic anchorage. Korean J Orthod 2003;33:151-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Sugawara J, Kanzaki R, Takahashi I, Nagasaka H, Nanda R. Distal movement of maxillary molars in nongrowing patients with the skeletal anchorage system. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2006;129:723-33.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Carano A, Velo S, Incorvati C, Poggio P. Clinical applications of the Mini-Screw-Anchorage-System (M.A.S.) in the maxillary alveolar bone. Prog Orthod 2004;5:212-35.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Melsen B, Garbo D. Treating the "Impossible case" with the use of the aarhus anchorage system. Orthodontics 2004;1:13-20.  Back to cited text no. 13


  [Figure 1]


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