Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate, by means of 3-dimensional finite element analysis, aspects of the biomechanics of cantilever fixed partial dentures replacing the maxillary canine in shortened dental arch therapy. The null hypothesis was that no differences would be identified by finite element analysis in the mechanical behavior of the 2 designs of cantilever fixed partial denture under different scenarios of occlusal loading. Materials and Methods: Single- and double-abutted cantilever fixed partial dentures were modeled and analyzed using the finite element packages PATRAN® and ABAQUS®. Displacement and maximum principal stresses (magnitude and location) within the fixed partial dentures, supporting structures, and the periodontal ligament/bone and abutment/retainer interfaces were examined under 20 different scenarios of axial and lateral occlusal loading. Results: The results indicate that more displacement occurred in the 2 rather than the 3-unit cantilever fixed partial denture, with the greatest displacement having occurred under lateral loading. The maximum principal stresses observed in the periodontal ligament/bone interfaces were greatest buccocervically, with the highest value being observed in the 2-unit fixed partial denture under lateral loading. The highest maximum principal stresses observed in the retainer/abutment interfaces were located cervically in relation to the distal margin of the retainer of the 2-unit fixed partial denture under axial loading. Conclusions: It was concluded that in adopting a cantilever fixed partial denture approach for the replacement of a missing maxillary canine in shortened dental arch therapy, there may be merits, in terms of mechanical behavior, in selecting a double-rather than a single-abutment design. Furthermore, prostheses' displacement and functional stresses may be minimized by reducing lateral loading and avoiding pontic only loading.
- 3-dimensional finite element analysis
- Stress distribution