Inside Dental Technology
December 2014
Volume 5, Issue 12

Drill-N-Tap Retrievable Ball Screw System


Method and materials for replacing attachments on implant bars and abutments

By Peter H. Kuch, ZTM, CDT

The Drill-N-Tap System was developed by XPdent Corp. to complement Bredent’s VKS-SG and OC Systems. It is the author’s opinion that this technique can be applied to any attachment or bar system as long as the bar is of adequate height and thickness to not be weakened by drilling the holes.

Problems with Implant Bar–Supported Prostheses

Most dentists who have been in the field of implant dentistry for more than 20 years know of cases when patients with implant bar–supported prostheses have found them to be extremely difficult to maintain. When attachments become overly worn, the patient frequently complains about the loss of retention. The supporting implant system may be old and obsolete, making it difficult to restore the case, causing dental professionals to dread these cases, which are typically repeatedly sent to the laboratory for repairs. While there are myriad options available to resolve issues like these, most of the time factors such as patient age, lifestyle, and finances determine the course for resolution.

A Solution

It is good to know that there are now feasible, niche products like the Drill-N-Tap Retrievable Ball Screw System from XPdent Corporation to address this problem. Designed for manual drilling and tapping, these ball screws have an oversized thread diameter to compensate for discrepancies inherent in drilling through hard alloys by hand. The oversized dimensions ensure a snug-fitting screw, regardless of the alloy into which they are incorporated. The Drill-N-Tap System is available in two separate assortments—one for titanium/non-precious alloys and one for precious/semi-precious alloys.

The kits are conveniently packed with 2 titanium ball screws and the corresponding drill bits, tap, and screwdriver. Drill-N-Tap components are also available for individual purchase if needed. VKS-SG or OC retentive matrices and tap holders are sold separately.

In essence, the Drill-N-Tap Retrievable Ball Screw System can be used to administer a multitude of repair and salvaging solutions for deteriorated implant bar cases. Furthermore, as a result of its principal design features, the Drill-N-Tap System is applicable for the construction of new, serviceable implant-supported prosthetic devices. The following instructions demonstrate the use of the Drill-N-Tap Retrievable Ball Screw System.

Instructions for Using the Drill-N-Tap Retrievable Ball Screw

To incorporate the ball screws into an existing implant bar or abutment, the following steps should be used.

First, a 1.8-mm pilot hole is drilled using a Diatit 1.8-mm x 6-mm Multidrill (Figure 1). After debris left from drilling is cleaned away, the 1.8-mm hole is ready to be tapped to receive the 2-mm ball screw. The threads are cut using an oversized M2 x 4 cutting tap.

After the hole and the cutting area of the tap are coated with milling oil, the tap is inserted into a holder. The tap tool is aligned with the hole before it is slowly turned in a clockwise direction. When binding occurs, the tap tool is backed out (counterclockwise), before proceeding again slowly (clockwise) (Figure 2).

The ball screws are inserted to check for an accurate fit (Figure 3). The excess screw shaft is cut off and blended into the design of the implant bar or abutment. Note: After adjusting, the ball screw will retain 3 to 3 ½ threads, for a bar thickness of 1.6 mm (Figure 4).

A 2.2-mm VKS-SG yellow matrix is snapped onto the ball to ensure proper positioning of the ball screw (Figure 5). A high-quality bonding cement is used to bond the ball screws into the implant bar; the threaded portion of the ball screw and the hole are coated with the cement (Figure 6). Note: It is important to read and follow the cement manufacturer’s instructions to achieve optimal bond results.

The ball is carefully screwed in place, and the cement is allowed to set for the timeframe indicated by the manufacturer (Figure 7 and Figure 8). After excess cement is cleaned off, the implant bar is ready for refitting of the existing overcasting or denture (Figure 9).


The Drill-N-Tap Retrievable Ball Screw system is designed for replacing worn attachments on existing implant bars and abutments. It is also suitable for fabricating new implant cases with the added benefit of retrievability. Drill-N-Tap ball screws are made of grade 5 titanium and are specifically manufactured to be used in conjunction with the VKS-SG or VKS-OC retentive matrices from Bredent. The ball screws are available in a 2.2-mm diameter only.

Peter H. Kuch, ZTM, CDT, is the CEO of XPdent Corporation in Miami, FL.

For more information, contact:
XPdent Corporation
P 877-328-3965W

Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.

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