This in vitro study evaluated the mechanical behavior of different conical connection implant systems after abutment screw withdrawal. Four conical connection systems were selected based on different conical half-angles: Ankylos (5.7°), Cowell (7.0°), Straumann (7.5°), and Astra (11.0°). In each system, 5 implants and abutments were used (n = 5). According to the recommended value, each abutment screw was torqued to settle the abutment and then withdrawn through a predesigned hole of the cemented crown. The retentiveness of the abutment was evaluated by the following mechanical testing. All specimens were subjected to cyclic loading of 20–200 N, 30°, and 4-mm off-axis to the implant axis, for 106 cycles. The pullout forces and axial displacements of the abutments were measured. The data of the Cowell system was obtained from our previous work. All groups other than Astra group, in which abutment loosened after abutment screw withdrawal, passed the cyclic loading test. Straumann group demonstrated a significantly lower pullout force (27.4 ± 21.1 N) than Ankylos (160.1 ± 41.4 N) and Cowell (183.7 ± 30.5 N) groups. All groups showed abutment rebound after screw withdrawal except Straumann group. In addition, Ankylos, Cowell, and Straumann groups demonstrated axial displacement after cyclic loading. In terms of the retentiveness of the abutment after abutment screw withdrawal examined in this study, Ankylos and Cowell groups had much higher retentiveness than Straumann group, while Astra group had none. Conical angle could be a key design parameter to make abutment screw withdrawal after conical abutment settlement feasible, but more studies must be conducted for clinical application.

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