Aim: The aim of the present study was to verify the possibility of obtaining an optimized prosthetic substructure using generic software, respecting the distribution loads and forces involved. What is considered to be original and innovative in this study is the possibility of designing the prosthetic substructure on the basis of the individual patient’s chewing biomechanics, with the purpose of obtaining an even greater efficiency than a prosthesis designed according to a traditional method.
Keywords: prosthetic substructure, structural analysis, finite element method (FEM), finite element analysis (FEA), chewing biomechanics, prosthetic complications, CAD/CAM technology
Materials and methods: The starting standard triangulation language (STL) file was processed with Rhinoceros software and the tOpos plugin. It was decided to submit the entire prosthetic solution, intended as total volume, to structural analysis and topological optimization because the entire prosthesis is subjected to load during the chewing act. The software program was provided with information on the material, modulus, and direction of the applied forces. The objective was to optimize stiffness by maximizing volume.
Results: The volume of the final structure was 2% compared with the starting model and was a completely different design compared with the traditional model. This new design was characterized by trabeculations that reflect the normal bone architecture. The material was distributed on the basis of the load points as well as the direction and modulus of the applied force.
Conclusions: After assessing the applicability of the proposed workflow and the results obtained thus far, the most important clinical implication is represented by the greater efficiency and the same resistance of the prosthesis obtained with topological optimization compared with that obtained with the traditional method.