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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 214751, 6 pages
Research Article

Effect of Cavity Design on the Strength of Direct Posterior Composite Restorations: An Empirical and FEM Analysis

1Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Saveetha Dental College, Saveetha University, Madras 600077, India
2Bioengineering Laboratory, Engineering Design Department, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Madras 600036, India

Received 31 July 2011; Revised 15 September 2011; Accepted 18 September 2011

Academic Editor: Louis M. Lin

Copyright © 2011 V. Susila Anand et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the present study was to verify the hypothesis that cavity design does not affect the strength of direct composite restorations as do material properties. Finite element modeling (FEM) and empirical testing were done for two cavity designs: a box shape (cube) and a concave shape (U). Two microhybrid composites were used to prepare the samples with the help of split stainless steel moulds. Compressive strength was tested. The results were statistically analyzed. Both FEA and empirical testing were complementary to each other in that the concave shape showed a significantly higher strength than box. Material properties affected the values only when box shape was used. The null hypothesis is thus rejected, and it is concluded that design significantly affects the strength of direct composite restorations.