Purpose:This study sought to aggregate literature data on in vitro failure loads and
failure modes of prefabricated fiber-reinforced composite (FRC) post systems and to
compare them to those of prefabricated metal, custom-cast, and ceramic post
systems. Materials and Methods:The literature was searched using MEDLINE from
1984 to 2003 for dental articles in English. Keywords used were (post or core or
buildup or dowel) and (teeth or tooth). Additional inclusion/exclusion steps were
conducted, each step by two independent readers: (1)Abstracts describing postand-
core techniques to reconstruct endodontically treated teeth and their mechanical
and physical characteristics were included (descriptive studies or reviews were
excluded); (2)articles that included FRC post systems were selected; (3)in vitro
studies, single-rooted human teeth, prefabricated FRC posts, and composite as the
core material were the selection criteria; and (4)failure loads and modes were
extracted from the selected papers, and failure modes were dichotomized (distinction
was made between “favorable failures,” defined as reparable failures, and
“unfavorable failures,” defined as irreparable [root] fractures). Results:The literature
search revealed 1,984 abstracts. Included were 244, 42, and 12 articles in the first,
second, and third selection steps, respectively. Custom-cast post systems showed
higher failure loads than prefabricated FRC post systems, whereas ceramic showed
lower failure loads. Significantly more favorable failures occurred with prefabricated
FRC post systems than with prefabricated and custom-cast metal post systems.
Conclusion:The variable “post system” had a significant effect on mean failure loads.
FRC post systems more frequently showed favorable failure modes than did metal
post systems. Int J Prosthodont 2004;17:476–482.