Purpose: To compare the biomechanical behaviors of different surgical options that are preferred for implant-supported fixed prosthetic rehabilitation of the atrophic edentulous maxilla.
Keywords: atrophic maxilla, finite element analysis, iliac bone graft, PEEK, subperiosteal implant, zygomatic implant
Materials and Methods: A 3D finite element analysis (FEA) model was generated from the computed tomography data of a patient with an atrophic edentulous maxilla. Four scenarios were created in the atrophic maxilla. In model 1, the maxilla was reconstructed with an onlay bone graft harvested from the anterior iliac crest, and sinus augmentation procedures were performed. Standard dental implants were placed in the lateral incisor, first premolar, and first molar regions on each side. In model 2, the anterior part of the atrophic maxilla was reconstructed with an onlay bone graft harvested from the mandibular ramus, and zygomatic implants were placed in the posterior part of the maxilla. In models 3 and 4, two-piece subperiosteal implants made of titanium and polyether ether ketone (PEEK) materials, respectively, were placed in the atrophic maxilla. All implants were loaded with 150-N and 50-N forces in vertical and lateral directions, respectively. Stress accumulation on bones, implants, abutments, and prosthetic frameworks was investigated.
Results: The tensile stress in both cortical and trabecular bone was highest in the iliac bone grafting group under vertical loading. The compressive stress in both cortical and trabecular bone was the highest in the PEEK subperiosteal implant model, and the compressive stress value on the trabecular bone exceeded the strength of the trabecular bone. The highest von Mises stress in the implants was obtained in the iliac bone grafting group under vertical loading. The highest stress value in the abutments was detected for the titanium subperiosteal implant. The highest von Mises stress in the prosthetic framework was detected in the titanium subperiosteal implant group, under both vertical and lateral loading.
Conclusion: Based on the stress accumulation results of the four different scenarios, it can be seen that there is no ideal treatment modality for the fixed implant-supported prosthetic rehabilitation of the atrophic edentulous maxilla. Various intraoperative and prosthetic modifications are suggested to decrease the risk of biomechanical complications during long-term follow-up.