Influence of denture tooth thickness on fracture mode of thin acrylic resin bases: An experimental and finite element analysis

J Prosthet Dent. 2015 Jul;114(1):122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2014.11.011. Epub 2015 Mar 17.


Statement of problem: The optimum selection of denture teeth for patients with a reduced interarch distance has not been established.

Purpose: The purpose of this in vitro study was to investigate the influence of denture tooth material and thickness on the fracture resistance of thin acrylic resin denture bases.

Material and methods: Acrylic resin (AC), composite resin (CO), or ceramic (CE) molar denture teeth were embedded in denture base blocks (2.0 mm thick). The distance from the central fossa to the tooth base was 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, or 2.5 mm for AC and CO, and 1.0 mm for CE (n=7), with a total thickness of 2.5 mm for all specimens. Each specimen was placed on a 3-point flexural setup with a shorter (8 mm) or longer (12 mm) support span than the tooth width and vertically loaded. A finite element analysis was performed to assess the stress distributions. The effects of tooth thickness and support span were statistically tested with ANOVA, followed by the Tukey honestly significant difference post hoc test (α= .05).

Results: With the shorter support, the mean fracture load was higher in CO than AC, regardless of the tooth thickness. Under the longer support, the mean fracture load with the CO decreased significantly as the tooth thickness increased, with increased maximum stress. Some CO tooth specimens of 2.0 mm or 2.5 mm thickness failed at the tooth-denture base interface at significantly lower loads than those exhibited by tooth fractures. CE showed minor cracks before bulk fracture.

Conclusions: Higher fracture resistance was indicated with CO; however, the resistance decreased as the thickness of the CO tooth increased.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins / chemistry*
  • Ceramics
  • Composite Resins / chemistry
  • Dental Materials / chemistry*
  • Dental Restoration Failure*
  • Dental Stress Analysis / instrumentation
  • Denture Bases*
  • Denture Design*
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Finite Element Analysis*
  • Hardness
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Materials Testing
  • Molar
  • Pliability
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Surface Properties
  • Tooth, Artificial*


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Composite Resins
  • Dental Materials