Mechanical benefits of conservative restoration for dental fissure caries

Zhongpu Zhang, Keke Zheng, Wei Li, Qing Li, Michael V. Swain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The principle of minimal intervention dentistry (MID) is to limit removal of carious tooth tissue while maximizing its repair and survival potential. The objective of this study is to explore the fracture resistance of a permanent molar tooth with a fissure carious lesion along with three clinical restoration procedures, namely one traditional and two conservative approaches, based upon MID. The traditional restoration employs extensive surgical removal of enamel and dentine about the cavity to eliminate potential risk of further caries development, while conservative method #1 removes significantly less enamel and infected dentine, and conservative method #2 only restores the overhanging enamel above the cavity and leaves the infected and affected dentine as it was. An extended finite element method (XFEM) is adopted here to analyze the fracture behaviors of both two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) modeling of these four different scenarios. It was found that the two conservative methods exhibited better fracture resistance than the traditional restorative method. Although conservative method #2 has less fracture resistance than method #1, it had significantly superior fracture resistance compared to other restorations. More important, after cavity sealing it may potentially enhance the opportunity for remineralization and improved loading bearing capacity and fracture resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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