• All-ceramic bridge;
  • inlay fixed partial denture;
  • experimental design;
  • finite element analysis


In a previous study, the authors used a finite element analysis (FEA) to evaluate the stresses developed during the loading of an all-ceramic, inlay supported fixed partial denture and compared it with the more traditional full crown supported prosthesis. To date there has been little research into correlating the responses of the numerical model against physical mechanical tests; such validation analysis is crucial if the results from the FEA are to be confidently relied upon. This study reports on the experimental methods used to compare with the FEA and thereby to validate the predictive fracture behaviour of the numerical model. This study also outlines the methods for manufacture and testing of the ceramic structure along with observations of the fracture tests. In addition the procedure used for developing the FEA model for the test system is outlined.