Simulation of clinical fractures for three different all-ceramic crowns.
Comparison of fracture strength and fracture modes of different all-ceramic crown systems is not straightforward. Established methods for reliable testing of all-ceramic crowns are not currently available. Published in-vitro tests rarely simulate clinical failure modes and are therefore unsuited to distinguish between the materials. The in-vivo trials usually lack assessment of failure modes. Fractographic analyses show that clinical crowns usually fail from cracks initiating in the cervical margins, whereas in-vitro specimens fail from contact damage at the occlusal loading point. The aim of this study was to compare three all-ceramic systems using a clinically relevant test method that is able to simulate clinical failure modes.