The purpose of this study was to investigate, by means of the finite element method the mechanical behaviour of three designs of fixed partial denture (FPD) for the replacement of the maxillary first premolar in shortened dental arch therapy. Two-dimensional, linear, static finite element analyses were carried out to investigate the biomechanics of the FPDs and their supporting structures under different scenarios of occlusal loading. Displacement and stress distribution for each design of FPD were examined, with particular attention being paid to the stress variations along the retainer-abutment - and the periodontal ligament-bone interfaces. The results indicated that displacement and maximum principal stresses in the fixed-fixed, three-unit FPD were substantially less than those in the two-unit cantilever FPDs. Of the two cantilever FPDs investigated, the distal cantilever design was found to suffer less displacement and stresses than the mesial cantilever design under similar conditions of loading. The highest values for maximum principal stress in the cantilever FPDs were found within the connector between the pontic and the retainer, and within the periodontal ligament and adjacent bone on the aspect of the retainer away from the pontic.
- Finite element analysis
- Fixed partial dentures