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Alejandro Bertoldi Hepburn

August 2005

3D FEA of cemented steel, glass and carbon posts in a maxillary incisor


A comparative study on the stress distribution in the dentine and cement layer of an endodontically treated maxillary incisor has been carried out by using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The role of post and cement rigidity on reliability of endodontic restorations is discussed.


A 3D FEM model (13,272 elements and 15,152 nodes) of a central maxillary incisor is presented. A chewing static force of 10 N was applied at 125° angle with the tooth longitudinal axis at the palatal surface of the crown. Steel, carbon and glass fiber posts have been considered. The differences in occlusal load transfer ability when steel, carbon and glass posts, fixed to root canal using luting cements of different elastic moduli (7.0 and 18.7 GPa) are discussed.

Results and significance

The more stiff systems (steel and carbon posts) have been evaluated to work against the natural function of the tooth. Maximum Von Mises equivalent stress values ranging from 7.5 (steel) to 5.4 and 3.6 MPa (respectively, for carbon posts fixed with high and low cement moduli) and to 2.2 MPa (either for glass posts fixed with high and low cement moduli) have been observed under a static masticatory load of 10 N.

A very stiff post works against the natural function of the tooth creating zones of tension and shear both in the dentine and at the interfaces of the luting cement and the post.

Stresses in static loading do not reach material (dentine and cement) failure limits, however, they significantly differ leading to different abilities of the restored systems to sustain fatigue loading. The influence of the cement layer elasticity in redistributing the stresses has been observed to be less relevant as the post flexibility is increased.