Effect of implant number and distribution on load transfer in implant-supported partial fixed dental prostheses for the anterior maxilla: A photoelastic stress analysis study

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Abstract

Statement of problem.

The 4-, 3- or even 2-implant-supported partial fixed dental prosthesis (PFDP) designs have been used to rehabilitate the anterior edentulous maxilla.

Purpose.

The purpose of this in vitro study was to compare the stress distribution in the supporting tissues surrounding implants placed in the anterior maxilla with 5 PFDP designs.

Material and methods.

A photoelastic model of the human maxilla with an anterior edentulous region was made with photoelastic resin (PL-2; Vishay Micro-Measurements), and 6 straight implants (OsseoSpeed; Astra Tech AB) were placed in the 6 anterior tooth positions. The 5 design concepts based on implant location were as follows: model 6I: 6 implants; model 2C2CI: 4 implants (2 canines and 2 central incisors); model 2C2LI: 4 implants (2 canines and 2 lateral incisors); model 2C1CI: 3 implants (2 canines and 1 central incisor); and model 2C: 2 canines. A load of 127.4 N was applied on the cingulum of 3 teeth at a 30-degree angle to the long axis of the implant. Stresses that developed in the supporting structure were recorded photographically.

Results.

The 6-implant-supported PFDP exhibited the most even and lowest distribution of stresses in all loading conditions. When the canine was loaded, the 2- or 3-implant-supported PFDP showed higher stresses around the implant at the canine position than did the 4- or 6-implant-supported PFDP. When the central incisor or lateral incisor was loaded, the two 4-implant-supported PFDPs exhibited similar levels of stresses around the implants and showed lower stresses than did the 2- or 3-implant-supported PFDP.

Conclusions.

Implant number and distribution influenced stress distribution around the implants in the anterior maxilla. With a decrease in implant number, the stresses around the implants increased.

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