Dental bridges supported by osseointegrated implants are commonly used to treat the partially or completely edentulous jaw. The bridges are manufactured in metal alloy using a sequence of technological steps which well match the requirement to get custom overstructures but does not guarantee geometrical and dimensional tolerances. Dentists often experience that a perfect fit of the bridge with the abutments is almost impossible to achieve.When a misfitting bridge is forced on the abutments, deformations may occurinducing a permanent preload at the fixture/bone interface and the greater the misfit the greater is the preload and the risk of implant failure. This work gives an evaluation of the biomechanical e!ects induced by a misfitting bridge when forced on two supporting dental implants. The strains induced in the bridge have been measured using two purposely designed and fabricated experimental devices allowing different types of misfit. FEM 3D models of the bridge and of the bridge anchored to the bone by implants have been developed. The former has been validated by simulating the same loading conditions as in the experimental tests and comparing the bridge strains. Both models have been used for the evaluation of the stress induced in the bridge and at the fixture/bone interface by bridge length errors. The results show that the method may help to estimate the stress distribution in the bridge and bone as a consequence of different dental bridge misfits.
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