Numerical fatigue 3D-FE modeling of indirect composite-restored posterior teeth

Pietro Ausiello, Pasquale Franciosa, Massimo Martorelli, David C. Watts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: In restored teeth, stresses at the tooth-restoration interface during masticatory processes may fracture the teeth or the restoration and cracks may grow and propagate. The aim was to apply numerical methodologies to simulate the behavior of a restored tooth and to evaluate fatigue lifetimes before crack failure. Materials and methods: Using a CAD-FEM procedure and fatigue mechanic laws, the fatigue damage of a restored molar was numerically estimated. Tessellated surfaces of enamel and dentin were extracted by applying segmentation and classification algorithms, to sets of 2D image data. A user-friendly GUI, which enables selection and visualization of 3D tessellated surfaces, was developed in a MatLab® environment. The tooth-boundary surfaces of enamel and dentin were then created by sweeping operations through cross-sections. A class II MOD cavity preparation was then added into the 3D model and tetrahedral mesh elements were generated. Fatigue simulation was performed by combining a preliminary static FEA simulation with classical fatigue mechanical laws. Results: Regions with the shortest fatigue-life were located around the fillets of the class II MOD cavity, where the static stress was highest. Significance: The described method can be successfully adopted to generate detailed 3D-FE models of molar teeth, with different cavities and restorative materials. This method could be quickly implemented for other dental or biomechanical applications. © 2010 Academy of Dental Materials.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)423-430
    Number of pages7
    JournalDental Materials
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011


    • 3D fatigue simulation
    • 3D image acquisition
    • CAD-FEM modeling
    • Class II MOD restoration
    • Micro-CT


    Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical fatigue 3D-FE modeling of indirect composite-restored posterior teeth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this