Finite element simulation of fracture in a restored premolar tooth using high aspect ratio elements

<div><p>Abstract Introduction The term cracked tooth syndrome refers to an incomplete fracture of a vital posterior tooth that involves the dentin and occasionally extends into the pulp. There is a very limited number of publications trying to model dentin crack growth using numerical techniques. Therefore, it is essential to numerically model this phenomenon in order to improve the clinical procedures. Methods A 2D finite element model is proposed to simulate crack initiation and propagation in a restored premolar tooth. The geometric model was based on computed tomography data. A special finite element technique, named mesh fragmentation technique, is used to model and analyze the behavior of the tooth. This technique was used to model cracks in quasi-brittle materials based on the use of interface solid finite elements with high aspects ratio. A tension damage constitutive relation between stresses and strains consistent with the continuous strong discontinuity approach is used to describe crack formation and propagation. Results The main aspects of modeling technique and procedures are explained in detail as well as the whole results, including both elastic and fracture analyses of the restored tooth. Conclusion The results of the current fracture analysis show that, under various loading conditions, there is no crack initiation in the restored tooth under typical loading magnitude. However, in the case of tooth with a pre-existing crack, which can be aroused during the restoration process, a crack propagation was observed, while they did not reach a critical fracture state.</p></div>