Aim: To evaluate the fracture resistance of three-unit fixed dental prosthesis (FDP) made of composite, high-density polymers (HDP), fiber-reinforced composite (FRC), and metal-ceramic (MC) using different fabrication methods.
Materials and methods: A typodont model was prepared to receive a three-unit FDP replacing a missing second maxillary premolar. The prepared model was digitally scanned using an intraoral scanner (Trios3, 3Shape, Denmark). In total, 60 FDPs were fabricated and divided into four groups (n = 15) according to the materials and fabrication method: the subtractive method was used for the FRC (Trilor, Bioloren, Italy) and the HDP (Ambarino, Creamed, Germany) groups; the HDP group was monolithic, whereas the FRC group was layered with a nanocomposite (G-aenial Sculpt, GC). The additive method was used for the 3D printed (3DP) nanocomposite (Irix Max, DWS, Italy) and the Cr-Co (Starbond CoS powder 30) infrastructure of the MC groups. The FDPs were adhesively seated on stereolithography (SLA) fabricated dies. All samples were subjected to thermomechanical loading and fracture testing. The data for maximum load (N) to fracture was statistically analyzed with one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Games-Howell post hoc test (α = 0.05).
Results: The MC group reported the highest fracture resistance with a statistically significant difference (2390.87 ± 166.28 N) compared to other groups. No significance was noted between 3DP and HDP groups (1360.20 ± 148.15 N and 1312.27 ± 64.40 N, respectively), while the FRC group displayed the lowest value (839.07 ± 54.30 N). The higher frequency of nonrepairable failures was observed in the MC and FRC groups, while HDP and 3DP groups reported a high frequency of repairable failures.
Conclusion: Significant differences were found in fracture resistance between the tested groups. The load-bearing capacity of the composite-based FPDs exceeded the range of maximum chewing forces.
Clinical significance: 3D printed and milled composite-based materials might offer a suitable solution for the fabrication of FPDs.
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