Achievement of primary stability during surgical placement of dental implants is one of the most important factors for successful osseointegration depending on various anatomical, surgical and implant-related factors. Resonance frequency analysis (RFA) has been shown as a non-invasive and objective technique for measuring the stability of implants. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of some surgical and implant-related factors in enhancing primary stability and to estimate a correlation between RFA and insertion torque (IT) in proximal regions of cow ribs representing cancellous bone. Fifteen implant beds were prepared in the most proximal region of six fresh cow ribs. Ninety implants with three different shapes and two different diameters were placed with two different surgical techniques, and the primary stability was compared using RFA and IT. Significantly higher RFA and IT values were achieved when under-dimensioned drilling was used as the surgical method (P < 0 01); significantly higher IT values were obtained with the use of wider implants (P < 0 01) and partially conical Astra Tech implants showed the highest IT values (P < 0 01). When all the implants were considered, significant correlations between the IT and RFA values were noted (% 40 6, P < 0 05). Partially conical implants with a wide diameter to be placed with the modified surgical technique proposed appear to be useful in enhancing the primary stability in cancellous bone.