Purpose

To investigate the effect of a cervical cavity extending 1 mm apical to the cemento–enamel junction (CEJ) on fracture resistance and failure mode of maxillary central incisors that have been treated endodontically, present with complete and incomplete ferrules, and are restored with and without a fiber post.

Methods and Materials

50 intact human maxillary central incisors were divided into five groups (n=10): CG (control group) 6-mm fer-rule height, no cervical cavity, and without post; (CO) 6-mm ferrule height without post, with a cervical cavity (access to root canal and cervical cavity restored with composite resin), cervical cavity; and post with ferrule heights of 1 mm (CP1), 2 mm (CP2), and 6 mm (CP6) restored with fiberglass post and composite resin core. After complete metal crowns were cemented on all specimens, they were subjected to thermal cycling (6000 cycles, 5°C/55°C), followed by immediate testing of fracture resistance. After failure, the specimens were sectioned buccolingually to evaluate and identify the mode of failure. The data were analyzed with an analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the Student–Newman–Keuls multiple comparison tests (α =0.05).

Results

A 1-mm ferrule height (CP1) fracture resistance was significantly lower (531±125 N) compared to the 6-mm ferrule height (CP6) (769±175 N) (p<0.05). With respect to the groups with similar residual dentin, with and without a cervical cavity, CG (667±119 N) and CO (668±119 N), the presence of a post (CP6) increased the resistance to fracture, although no statistically significant difference was demonstrated. Partial decementation was observed in all specimens of CG and CP6, in nine of CP1 and CP2, and in three in CO. Root fractures occurred in 23 specimens. The root surface was exposed 2 mm below the CEJ to simulate bone level. Propagation of subosseous cracks occurred in four specimens in CG and CP2, in seven specimens in CP6, in two specimens in CP1, and in six specimens in CO. All were considered catastrophic failures.

Conclusions

Within the limitations of this study it is suggested that, when restoring an endodontically treated maxillary central incisor that has a cervical lesion and needs to be restored with a complete crown, a fiber post is cemented to improve fracture resistance.

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