Fracture simulation of restored teeth using a continuum damage mechanics failure model

Haiyan Li, Jianying Li, Zhenmin Zou, Alex Siu Lun Fok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this paper is to validate the use of a finite-element (FE) based continuum damage mechanics (CDM) failure model to simulate the debonding and fracture of restored teeth. Materials and methods: Fracture testing of plastic model teeth, with or without a standard Class-II MOD (mesial-occusal-distal) restoration, was carried out to investigate their fracture behavior. In parallel, 2D FE models of the teeth are constructed and analyzed using the commercial FE software ABAQUS. A CDM failure model, implemented into ABAQUS via the user element subroutine (UEL), is used to simulate the debonding and/or final fracture of the model teeth under a compressive load. The material parameters needed for the CDM model to simulate fracture are obtained through separate mechanical tests. The predicted results are then compared with the experimental data of the fracture tests to validate the failure model. Results: The failure processes of the intact and restored model teeth are successfully reproduced by the simulation. However, the fracture parameters obtained from testing small specimens need to be adjusted to account for the size effect. The results indicate that the CDM model is a viable model for the prediction of debonding and fracture in dental restorations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e125-e133
JournalDental Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Continuum damage mechanics
  • Debonding
  • Dental restoration
  • Finite element
  • Fracture


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