Biomechanical interactions in tooth-implant-supported fixed partial dentures with variations in the number of splinted teeth and connector type: A finite element analysis

Chun Li Lin, Jen Chyan Wang*, Wen Jen Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

68 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the biomechanical interactions in tooth-implant-supported fixed partial dentures (FPDs) under several loading conditions with different numbers of splinted teeth and connector types (rigid and non-rigid) by adopting the three-dimensional (3D) non-linear finite element (FE) approach. Material and methods: A 3D FE FPD model was constructed containing one Frialit-2 implant in the mandibular second-molar region splinted to the first and second premolars. Frictional contact elements were used to simulate realistic interface conditions within the implant system and the non-rigid connector function. The main effects for each level of the three investigated factors (loading condition, number of splinted teeth and connector type) in terms of the stress values and dissimilar mobility of the natural teeth and implant were computed for all models. Results: The results indicated that load condition was the main factor affecting the stress developed in the implant, bone and prosthesis when comparing the type of connector and the number of splinted teeth. The stress values were significantly reduced in centric or lateral contact situations once the occlusal forces on the pontic were decreased. However, the prosthesis stress for the non-rigid connections was increased more than 3.4-fold relative to the rigid connections. Moreover, the average tooth-to-implant displacement ratios (RTID) with a non-rigid connection were obviously larger than those for rigid connections under axial loading forces. Adding an extra tooth to support a three-unit tooth-implant FPD only exploited its function when the prosthesis withstood lateral occlusal forces. Conclusions: The load condition is the main factor affecting stress distribution in different components (bone, prosthesis and implant) of tooth-implant-supported FPDs. Minimizing the occlusal loading force on the pontic area through selective grinding procedures could reduce the stress values obviously. A non-rigid connector may more efficiently compensate for the dissimilar mobility between the implant and natural teeth under axial loading forces but with the risk of increasing unfavorable stresses in the prosthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-117
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Oral Implants Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomechanics
  • Connector
  • Finite element analysis
  • Splinting


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