Purpose The aim of this study was to evaluate fatigue resistance of dental fixtures with two different fixture-abutment connections by in vitro fatigue testing and in silico three-dimensional finite element analysis (3D FEA) using original computer-aided design (CAD) models. Methods Dental implant fixtures with external connection (EX) or internal connection (IN) abutments were fabricated from original CAD models using grade IV titanium and step-stress accelerated life testing was performed. Fatigue cycles and loads were assessed by Weibull analysis, and fatigue cracking was observed by micro-computed tomography and a stereomicroscope with high dynamic range software. Using the same CAD models, displacement vectors of implant components were also analyzed by 3D FEA. Angles of the fractured line occurring at fixture platforms in vitro and of displacement vectors corresponding to the fractured line in silico were compared by two-way ANOVA. Results Fatigue testing showed significantly greater reliability for IN than EX (p < 0.001). Fatigue crack initiation was primarily observed at implant fixture platforms. FEA demonstrated that crack lines of both implant systems in vitro were observed in the same direction as displacement vectors of the implant fixtures in silico. Conclusions In silico displacement vectors in the implant fixture are insightful for geometric development of dental implants to reduce complex interactions leading to fatigue failure.
- Dental implant-abutment design
- Fatigue test
- Finite element analysis
- Step-stress accelerated life tests
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery
- Dentistry (miscellaneous)