Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Research and Education| Volume 129, ISSUE 1, P221-227, January 2023

Comparison of strength of milled and conventionally processed PMMA complete-arch implant-supported immediate interim fixed dental prostheses


      Statement of problem

      A typical conversion process of a complete-arch immediate loading protocol entails preparing holes in a complete denture for connection to interim copings, which reduces the strength of the prosthesis. The excellent mechanical properties of milled polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) disks may provide interim prostheses with improved strength.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to measure the flexural strength and failure load of simulated acrylic resin immediate implant-supported interim prostheses fabricated by conventional processing and computer-aided manufacturing.

      Material and methods

      A master patient model was created with an acrylic resin base and 2 BioHorizons Internal 4.5-mm-diameter implants placed with a 21.5-mm span and multiunit abutments (MUA) tightened to place. Two groups with different prosthodontic designs were used: one represented the standard fixed prosthesis with support at each end (noncantilever, NC), and the other group represented the cantilever portion of the prosthesis (cantilever, C). Two connection designs of prosthesis blocks to MUA abutments were evaluated: one with typical holes in the prosthesis for capturing interim copings and one with a low-profile coping. For the heat-processed PMMA groups (HP/NC and HP/C), wax patterns were milled, and heat-polymerized denture base PMMA prostheses were processed. The milled PMMA groups (M/NC and M/C) were milled from a tooth-shaded PMMA disk for the prosthesis blocks. The milled low-profile groups (Mlp/NC and Mlp/C) had identical dimensions except that connection to the low-profile coping was designed with a cement space and a narrow diameter screw access hole and was milled from a PMMA disk. The failure load (N) of the cantilever prostheses was recorded, and for NC groups, the 3-point flexural strength formula (MPa) was calculated. The Weibull modulus, characteristic strength, and summary statistics were computed, and the groups were statistically analyzed with ANOVA and the post hoc Tukey test (α=.05).


      The mean flexural strengths (MPa) were HP/NC=91.35 ±18.92; M/NC=143.94 ±36.79; Mlp/NC=117.06 ±13.86. Significant differences were found among groups (P<.001). Mean failure loads (N) and Weibull modulus (WM) of cantilever prosthesis strengths were for HP/C=512.66, WM=5.597; M/C=695.06, WM=4.875; Mlp/C=254.97, WM=1.797 (P<.001).


      Implant fixed interim structures milled from high-density PMMA blanks had a 35% higher flexural strength for both the standard prostheses and the cantilever prostheses than heat-processed denture base PMMA. The low-profile coping design was stronger than the heat-processed material, and the failure point was relocated from the lateral walls to the cervical margin area.
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