Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the stability of mini-implants in relation to loading time. Methods: A total of 48 mini-implants (ORLUS, Ortholution, Korea) were placed into the buccal alveolar bone of the mandible in 8 male beagle dogs. Orthodontic force (200 - 250 gm) was applied immediately for the immediate loading group while force application was delayed for 3 weeks in the delayed loading group. For the subsequent loading periods (3, 6, 12 weeks), BIC (bone implant contact) and BV/TV (bone volume/total volume) and mobility test were carried out. Results: The immediate loading group showed no changes in BIC from 3 to 12 weeks, while the delayed loading group showed a significant increase in BIC between 3 and 12 weeks (p < 0.05). The BV/TV of the delayed loading group significantly increased from 6 to 12 weeks of loading (p < 0.05), while the BV/TV of the immediate loading group decreased from 3 to 12 weeks of loading. However, there was no significant difference in BV/TV between experimental groups. The mobility of the immediate loading group was not significantly different from that of the delayed loading group after 12 weeks of loading (p < 0.05). Conclusions: These results showed that immediate loading does not have a negative effect on the stability of mini-implants compared to the early loading method in both the clinical and histomorphometric point of view.
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