Effect of endocrown pulp chamber extension depth on molar fracture resistance

A. Hayes, N. Duvall, M. Wajdowicz, H. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of endocrown pulp chamber extension on mandibular molar fracture resistance. Methods and Materials: A total of 36 recently extracted mandibular third molars of approximate equal size were sectioned at the facial lingual height of contour followed by endodontic access into the pulp chamber. The specimens were then randomly divided into three groups (n=12) and pulpal and root canal contents removed. Pulp chamber floors were established at 2, 3, and 4 mm from the occlusal table using a three-step etch-and-rinse adhesive and a flowable resin composite. The prepared specimens were then embedded in autopolymerizing denture base resin with surface area available for adhesive bonding determined using a digital recording microscope. Specimens were restored using a standardized template with a chairside computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing unit with the endocrown milled from a lithium disilicate glass-ceramic material. Restoration parameters of occlusal table anatomy and thickness were standardized with the only parameter difference being the pulp chamber extension depth. The endocrown restorations were luted with a self-adhesive resin luting agent and tested to failure after 24 hours on a universal testing machine, with force applied to the facial cusps at a 458 angle to the long axis of the tooth. The failure load was converted into stress for each specimen using the available surface area for bonding. Mean failure load and stress among the three groups was first subjected to the Shapiro-Wilk and Bartlett tests and then analyzed with an analysis of variance with the Tukey post hoc test at a 95% confidence level (p=0.05). Results: The 2-and 4-mm chamber extension groups demonstrated the highest fracture resistance stress, with the 3-mm group similar to the 2-mm group. The 3-and 4-mm chamber extension group specimens demonstrated nearly universal catastrophic tooth fracture, whereas half the 2-mm chamber extension group displayed nonrestorable root fractures. Conclusions: Under the conditions of this study, mandibular molars restored with the endocrown technique with 2-and 4-mm pulp chamber extensions displayed greater tooth fracture resistance force as well as stress. All groups demonstrated a high number of catastrophic fractures, but these results may not be clinically significant because the fracture force results are higher than normal reported values of masticatory function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalOperative Dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry (all)


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