Analysis of the Premature Failure of a Maxillofacial Implant
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Two factors have contributed to the increase of use of surgical orthopedic implants: the increase of the lifetime expectancy of the population and the higher risk of trauma occurrence associated with usual activities of modern life. Metallic materials designed for applications in surgical implants, no matter orthopedic or dental, must show a group of properties, in which biocompatibility, mechanical strength, and resistance to degradation (by wear or corrosion) outstand. In order to reach these aims, such materials must fulfill certain requirements, usually specified in standards, in relation to chemical composition, microstructure, and even macrographic aspects. The main goal of this work is to perform the failure analysis of a plate designed for maxillo bone osteosynthesis, installed in a victim of an automotive crash. Mainly two techniques were employed in this work: metallographic analysis by optical microscopy and fractographic analysis by scanning electron microscopy. The results obtained with such techniques allowed concluding that the jaw facial implant failed by fatigue in a much shorter time its lifetime expectancy.
KeywordsFailure analysis Implant degradation Fatigue Microscopy
The authors thank Mauro Melo Rodrigues and Robson Oliveira Centeno for sample preparation and FAPERJ (Research Funding Agency of Rio de Janeiro State) and CNPq (National Council for Research Development) for financial support.
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