Topological design of all‐ceramic dental bridges for enhancing fracture resistance

Zhongpu Zhang, Junning Chen, Quan Bing Eric Li, Wei Li, Michael V. Swain, Q Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Layered all‐ceramic systems have been increasingly adopted in major dental prostheses. However, ceramics are inherently brittle, and they often subject to premature failure under high occlusion forces especially in the posterior region. This study aimed to develop mechanically sound novel topological designs for all‐ceramic dental bridges by minimizing the fracture incidence under given loading conditions. A bi‐directional evolutionary structural optimization (BESO) technique is implemented within the extended finite element method (XFEM) framework. Extended finite element method allows modeling crack initiation and propagation inside all‐ceramic restoration systems. Following this, BESO searches the optimum distribution of two different ceramic materials, namely porcelain and zirconia, for minimizing fracture incidence. A performance index, as per a ratio of peak tensile stress to material strength, is used as a design objective. In this study, the novel XFEM based BESO topology optimization significantly improved structural strength by minimizing performance index for suppressing fracture incidence in the structures. As expected, the fracture resistance and factor of safety of fixed partial dentures structure increased upon redistributing zirconia and porcelain in the optimal topological configuration. Dental CAD/CAM systems and the emerging 3D printing technology were commercially available to facilitate implementation of such a computational design, exhibiting considerable potential for clinical application in the future. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Topological design of all‐ceramic dental bridges for enhancing fracture resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this