Influence of prefabricated post dimensions on restored maxillary central incisors

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The aim of this study was to test the following hypothesis: biomechanical performance (fracture strength and stress distribution) of restored teeth is less sensitive to post diameter and post length when using glass fibre posts than when using stainless steel posts. First, an experimental fracture strength test was performed on 80 extracted human maxillary central incisors. Teeth were decoronated, treated endodontically and restored (40 with glass fibre posts and 40 with stainless steel posts), and the length and diameter of the posts varied uniformly. Failure loads were recorded and results were compared using an ANCOVA analysis. Secondly, the finite element technique was used to develop a model of the restored tooth. The post diameter had a significant effect on the biomechanical performance of teeth restored with stainless steel posts. Lower failure loads were found as post diameter increased. However, the post diameter of those teeth restored with glass fibre posts, and the post length for both post systems under consideration, did not affect the biomechanical performance of restored teeth to a significant degree. The stress distributions predicted by the developed model corroborated these findings, confirmed the assumed hypothesis, and permitted the proposal of the use of glass fibre posts to achieve a restorative technique that is less sensitive to post dimensions, and thus more robust.

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