Objectives: To analyze morphological variations of retrieved orthodontic miniscrews and to evaluate the mechanical properties that may adversely affect relocation of miniscrews. Materials and Methods: Retrieved miniscrews were classified with scanning electron microscopy according to the degree of morphological deformation of the tip. To evaluate the differences in mechanical characteristics during reinsertion, changes in insertion torque, insertion time and differences in successful insertion load were compared between unused controls and retrieved miniscrews. In addition, surface composition analysis of retrieved miniscrews was performed using energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. Results: Significant tip deformation was evident in the majority (.84.5%) of retrieved miniscrews. Initial conditions such as insertion site or duration of insertion were not associated with the presence of tip deformation. Insertion load for successful bone penetration increased in proportion to the degree of tip deformation; however, serial changes in insertion torque were similar to those of the controls. Deposited debris such as carbon, calcium, and phosphorus was noted on the retrieved miniscrews. Conclusion: Miniscrews retrieved after primary insertion exhibited decreased cutting ability due to deformation of the tip structure, as well as surface contamination.
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