The all-ceramic, inlay supported fixed partial denture. Part 2. Fixed partial denture design: a finite element analysis


Dr Mark C Thompson
Faculty of Dentistry
The University of Sydney
Sydney NSW 2006


The clinical use of all-ceramic crowns and fixed partial dentures has seen widespread adoption over the past few years due to their increasing durability and longevity. However, the application of inlays as an abutment design has not been as readily embraced because of their relatively high failure rates. With the use of an idealized inlay preparation design and prosthesis form which better distributes the tensile stresses, it is possible to utilize the inlay as support for an all-ceramic fixed partial denture. Utilizing a three-dimensional finite element analysis, a direct comparison of the inlay supported all-ceramic bridge against the traditional full crown supported all-ceramic bridge is made. The results demonstrate that peak stresses in the inlay bridge are around 20% higher than in the full crown supported bridge with von Mises peaking at about 730 MPa when subjected to theoretical average maximum bite force in the molar region of 700 N, which is similar to the ultimate tensile strengths of current zirconia based ceramics.