Photoelastic and finite element stress analysis reliability for implant-supported system stress investigation
Aim: To compare the reliability between photoelastic and finiteelement (FE) analyses by evaluating the effect of differentmarginal misfit levels on the stresses generated on two differentimplant-supported systems using conventional and short implants. Methods: Two photoelastic models were obtained: model C with two conventional implants (4.1×11 mm); and model S with a conventional and a short implant (5×6 mm). Three-unitCoCr frameworks were fabricated simulating a superior first pre-molar (P) to first molar (M) fixed dental prosthesis. Different levels of misfit (μm) were selected based on the misfit averageof 10 frameworks obtained by the single-screw test protocol: low (<20), medium (>20 and <40) and high (>40). Stress levels and distribution were measured by photoelastic analysis. A similar situation of the in vitro assay was designed and simulated by thein silico analysis. Maximum and minimum principal strain wererecorded numerically and color-coded for the models. Von Mises Stress was obtained for the metallic components. Results:Photoelasticity and FE analyses showed similar tendency wherethe increase of misfit generates higher stress levels despite ofthe implant design. The short implant showed lower von Mises stress values; however, it presented stresses around its full length for the in vitro and in silico analysis. Also, model S showedhigher μstrain values for all simulated misfit levels. The type ofimplant did not affect the stresses around pillar P. Conclusions:Photoelasticity and FEA are reliable methodologies presenting similarity for the investigation of the biomechanical behavior of implant-supported rehabilitations.
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