Abutment Design for Implant-Supported Indirect Composite Molar Crowns: Reliability and Fractography

Estevam Augusto Bonfante, Marcelo Suzuki, William Lubelski, Van P. Thompson, Ricardo Marins de Carvalho, Lukasz Witek, Paulo G. Coelho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the reliability of titanium abutments veneered with indirect composites for implant-supported crowns and the possibility to trace back the fracture origin by qualitative fractographic analysis. Materials and Methods: Large base (LB) (6.4-mm diameter base, with a 4-mm high cone in the center for composite retention), small base (SB-4) (5.2-mm base, 4-mm high cone), and small base with cone shortened to 2 mm (SB-2) Ti abutments were used. Each abutment received incremental layers of indirect resin composite until completing the anatomy of a maxillary molar crown. Step-stress accelerated-life fatigue testing (n = 18 each) was performed in water. Weibull curves with use stress of 200 N for 50,000 and 100,000 cycles were calculated. Probability Weibull plots examined the differences between groups. Specimens were inspected in light-polarized and scanning electron microscopes for fractographic analysis. Results: Use level probability Weibull plots showed Beta values of 0.27 for LB, 0.32 for SB-4, and 0.26 for SB-2, indicating that failures were not influenced by fatigue and damage accumulation. The data replotted as Weibull distribution showed no significant difference in the characteristic strengths between LB (794 N) and SB-4 abutments (836 N), which were both significantly higher than SB-2 (601 N). Failure mode was cohesive within the composite for all groups. Fractographic markings showed that failures initiated at the indentation area and propagated toward the margins of cohesively failed composite. Conclusions: Reliability was not influenced by abutment design. Qualitative fractographic analysis of the failed indirect composite was feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-603
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Prosthodontics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Crowns
  • Fatigue
  • Fractography
  • Implants
  • Indirect composites
  • Reliability
  • Weibull

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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