Purpose: To evaluate the mechanical stability of highly translucent zirconia (Zr) cantilevered fixed dental prostheses (cFDPs) and to investigate the influence of the number of implants (one versus two) supporting cFDPs with different restorative materials on their mechanical stability and load-bearing capacity.
Keywords: dental implants, fixed dental prosthesis, cantilever, zirconia, highly translucent zirconia
Materials and methods: Thirty-two specimens consisting of implant-supported prostheses embedded in resin blocks were fabricated. Sixteen specimens received one implant (bone-level implant, 4.1-mm diameter, 13-mm length; Straumann) to support two-unit cement-retained cFDPs with one extension unit and the other 16 received two implants (bone-level implant, 4.1-mm diameter, 13-mm length; Straumann) positioned corresponding to the missing maxillary central incisors to support three-unit cement-retained cFDPs with one extension unit. Two different prosthetic materials, chromium-cobalt (Cr-Co; Wirobond C+, Bego) and highly translucent Zr (Lava Plus, 3M ESPE) were selected to fabricate the two- and three-unit cFDPs. Standardized twoand three-unit Cr-Co frameworks (CC-I, n = 8; CC-II, n = 8) and highly translucent Zr frameworks (Zr-I, n = 8; Zr-II, n = 8) with a 6-mm cantilever extension were fabricated using CAD/CAM (EOS M 290). Following thermomechanical fatigue loading, the specimens were tested for fracture resistance under static loading. The influence of restoration material and number of supporting implants on fracture resistance were tested using two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The level of statistical significance was set below 5% (α < .05).
Results: All specimens survived aging. The mean (± standard deviation) fracture resistance values were 416.25 (± 42.71) N for Zr-I, 548.75 (± 75.41) N for Zr-II, 601.0 (± 41.51) N for CC-I, and 664.5 (± 37.59) N for CC-II. CC and Zr group specimens showed significantly different fracture resistance results (P < .001). The number of implants significantly influenced the fracture resistance of Zr groups (P = .001), whereas the influence was not significant for CC groups (P = .089).
Conclusion: Within the limitations of this in vitro study, highly translucent zirconia cFDP frameworks demonstrated the potential to withstand reported physiologic occlusal forces applied in the anterior region. The increase in the number of implants supporting zirconia cFDPs significantly contributed to achieving higher fracture resistance values.