Purpose: To evaluate in vitro the influence of fiber reinforcement on the failure loads of resin composite beams, simulating cantilevered two-unit resin-bonded fixed dental prostheses, and compare the results with similarly obtained failure loads of ZrO2 and CoCr beams of a comparable design. Materials and Methods: Peel tests were performed using resin composite, fiber-reinforced resin composite, and zirconia beams, simulating two-unit cantilevered resin-bonded fixed dental prostheses, luted with Panavia F2.0 onto flat-ground buccal surfaces of bovine mandibular incisors. The recorded failure loads were compared with those of CoCr beams of a similar size and design from earlier research. Finite element analysis revealed the stress concentrations within the cement layers at failure. Results: The failure loads (N) of the peel tests, depending on the beam type and including the type of failure, were statistically analyzed. The highest failure values were obtained with the fiber-reinforced resin composite beams, which were luted with the exposed fibers directly on the bovine enamel. Finite element analysis showed that peak stress locations depend on the beam type and facilitate the explanation of the different failure modes. Conclusion: Fiber-reinforcement of simulated two-unit cantilevered resin composite resin-bonded fixed dental prostheses does not necessarily lead to higher failure loads. This study identified significant differences in peel failure loads between identical specimens, depending on whether or not the fiber reinforcement was exposed on the luting surface. Further research needs to be carried out regarding the combination of resin composite and fiber reinforcement.
Keywords: fiber-reinforced resin composites, zirconia, failure load, nonmetal