Abfraction lesion formation in maxillary incisors, canines and premolars: A finite element study

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Abfraction lesions are angular, wedge-shaped defects found at the cervical region of teeth and are caused by mechanical overloading initiated by cuspal flexure. Clinically, these lesions are more prevalent on the labial aspect of maxillary incisors. The aim of this study was to provide a biomechanical explanation for this clinical variation. Two-dimensional plane strain finite element models of an maxillary incisor, canine and first premolar were developed and the cervical stress profiles were examined along a horizontal plane 1.1 mm above the amelo-cemental junction. The local X (horizontal) stress on the labial/buccal side was 176.4 MPa for the incisor, 57.8 MPa for the premolar, and 3.4 MPa for the canine. Similarly, the maximum labial/buccal principal stress was 181.4 MPa for the incisor, 25.2 MPa for the premolar, and 66.8 MPa for the canine. The labial/buccal stress profile in the cervical region of an maxillary incisor was always greater than that found in an maxillary canine or premolar tooth. These findings provide a biomechanical explanation for the clinical variation seen in the prevalence of cervical abfraction lesions.

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