An in vitro study evaluating the effect of ferrule length on fracture resistance of endodontically treated teeth restored with fiber-reinforced and zirconia dowel systems

Begüm Akkayan
Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry 2004, 92 (2): 155-62

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: There are few published studies analyzing the effects of different ferrule lengths of endodontically treated teeth in relationship to newly developed fiber-reinforced and zirconia dowel systems.

PURPOSE: This in vitro study compared the effect of 3 different ferrule lengths on the fracture resistance and fracture patterns of crowned endodontically treated teeth restored with 4 different esthetic dowel systems.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The crowns of 123 human maxillary canines were removed at the cementoenamel junction and the roots were endodontically treated. Three master tooth models were prepared to ferrule lengths of 1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, and 2.0 mm to produce 3 master analogs. Each root was embedded in autopolymerizing resin with a 0.2-mm layer of silicone impression material to simulate the periodontal ligament. Forty analogs of each master tooth, with ferrule lengths of 1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, and 2.0 mm were produced with copy-milling (Celay system). Each group was further subdivided into 4 groups of 10 specimens each and restored with 4 different esthetic dowel systems (quartz fiber, glass fiber, glass fiber plus zirconia, and zirconia). All dowels were luted with adhesive resin cement (RelyX ARC), restored with composite cores (Valux Plus), and Ni-Cr alloy (Wiron 99) complete crowns. All specimens were loaded at 130 degrees to the long axes in a universal testing machine at a crosshead speed of 1 mm/min until fracture. Fracture patterns were classified as failures above or below the incisal third of the roots. The data were analyzed with 2-way ANOVA and Tukey HSD tests (alpha=.05). A Fisher exact test was conducted for evaluation of the mode of failure (alpha=.05).

RESULTS: Mean failure loads (kg) for quartz fiber, glass fiber, glass fiber plus zirconia, and zirconia groups, respectively, with the 3 ferrule lengths were: 1.0-mm ferrule specimens: 98.09 +/- 2.90, 85.36 +/- 2.82, 80.24 +/- 1.88, 70.11 +/- 2.48; 1.5-mm ferrule specimens: 101.0 +/- 2.88, 87.58 +/- 2.83, 89.8 +/- 2.09, 82.71 +/- 2.14; 2.0-mm ferrule specimens: 119.5+/-1.78, 99.84+/-1.23, 98.6 +/- 1.64, 95.42 +/- 1.02. Teeth prepared with 2.0-mm ferrules demonstrated significantly higher fracture thresholds (P<.001). There were no significant differences in fracture patterns.

CONCLUSION: Increasing the ferrule length of the endodontically treated teeth from 1 mm to 1.5 mm in specimens restored with quartz-fiber and glass-fiber dowels did not produce significant increases in the failure loads (P=.084, P=.119, respectively). No significant difference was detected between glass-fiber and glass-fiber plus zirconia dowels with 1.5-mm and 2.0-mm ferrules (P=.218, P=.244, respectively). However, fracture thresholds were higher for all 4 dowel systems when the specimens were prepared with a 2.0-mm ferrule length (P<.001).

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