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Volume 14 , Issue 5
September/October 2001

Pages 401-405

Stress Analysis of Metal-Free Polymer Crowns Using the Three-Dimensional Finite Element Method

Takashi Nakamura, DDS, PhD, Aogu Imanishi, DDS, Hisatsugu Kashima, DDS, Tatsuo Ohyama, DDS, Shoichi Ishigaki, DDS, PhD

PMID: 12066632

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the stress distribution under various loading conditions within posterior metal-free crowns made of new composite materials. Materials and Methods: A three-dimensional finite element model representing a mandibular first molar was constructed. Variations of the model had crowns of two types of composite, a glass ceramic, and porcelain fused to metal. A load of 600 N, simulating the maximum bite force, was applied vertically to the crowns. Loads of 225 N, simulating masticatory force, were applied from three directions (vertically, at a 45-degree angle, and horizontally). Results: The stress distributions in both types of composite crown were similar to that of the glass-ceramic crown. In the test simulating maximum bite force, the maximum tensile stresses on all crowns (17.9 to 18.3 MPa) concentrated around the loading points. In the masticatory force–simulation test, the specimens experienced maximum tensile stresses of 20.3 to 26.6 MPa under a horizontal load and 10.9 to 11.0 MPa under a vertical load. When the load was applied horizontally, the maximum tensile stress was observed around the loading points on the surface in the case of composite and glass-ceramic crowns, and in the cervical area of the metal coping in the porcelainfused- to-metal crowns. Conclusion: It would appear that the strength of occlusal contact points is important to the integrity of posterior metal-free crowns made of new composite materials and that bite forces applied from the horizontal direction are a critical factor determining success and failure.

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