Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate stress distribution in anterior adhesive fixed dental prostheses (FDP) and at the tooth/framework interface. Metal (M-FDP) and glass fiber-reinforced composite (FRC-FDP) frameworks were compared. Materials and Methods: The design of the FDP consisted of retainers on a maxillary central incisor and canine with a pontic of a lateral incisor. Two different framework materials were compared: isotropic Au-Pd alloy and anisotropic continuous unidirectional E-glass FRC. Veneers in both cases were made of isotropic veneering hybrid composite. A 3- dimensional finite element model of a 3-unit FDP loaded with 154 N (at a 45-degree angle to the incisal edge of the pontic) was used to analyze stress distribution in the FDP and at the adhesive interface. A finite element analysis was used in calculation of the maximum principal stress and displacement. Results: The maximum displacement of FRC-FDP was higher than that of M-FDP. Stress concentrations were located equally in the connectors and at the occluding contact points in both framework types. Maximum principal stress of FRC-FDP was lower than that of M-FDP. Stress analysis further indicated that the maximum stress in the luting cement interface of FRC-FDP was located at the middle part of the retainers, whereas in the M-FDP, the maximum stress was located at the marginal edge of the retainers. Conclusion: The FE model revealed differences in displacement and stress distribution between metal and FRC frameworks of FDP. The general observation was that FRC-FDP provided more even stress distribution from the occluding contact point to the cement interface than did M-FDP.
Keywords: adhesive fixed dental prostheses, fiber reinforced composites, cement interface, finite element analysis, hybrid composite, prosthetic dentistry