Aim: To investigate whether: 1) in the adhesive era, a full-crown restoration in a molar tooth is more resistant compared with an overlay-type restoration; b) a posterior indirect adhesive restoration (PIAR) is similar to a sound tooth from a mechanical point of view.
Materials and methods: Seventy extracted molars were divided into five groups (1. Butt Joint; 2. Full Bevel; 3. Shoulder; 4. Full Crown; 5. Sound Tooth (control); N = 14) and prepared with four different PIAR overlay design types (according to an adhesthetics classification). Seven expert dentists performed all the preparation and cementation phases with codified protocols. A CAD/CAM workflow was used to realize the 56 monolithic lithium disilicate restorations. The samples were tested with thermomechanical aging (margin quality data will be given in Part 2 of this article series), and the resistance to fracture was then tested and analyzed.
Results and conclusions: In terms of fracture resistance in a situation of overload and within the limitations of the present study, it is possible to conclude that the Full Bevel group showed higher fracture strength than all the other groups. All PIAR restorations performed equally or better than the natural control tooth in the Sound Tooth group. The Full Crown group did not perform better than partial overlay PIAR. The fracture types were limited to the crown in 50% or more of the samples; the rest involved the cervical part of the root. The preparation design that involved the root the least was the Full Crown group (14%).