The purpose of this study was to evaluate the stress distributions of the fixed partial denture with five unit intermediate abutment. This fixed partial denture was attached to a three dimensional photoelastic epoxy resin model. Three dimensional photoelastic models were used, with the stress areas recorded photographically. A vertical load was applied to the second molar, which is the most posterior abutment of the fixed partial denture. Similarly, a vertical load was applied to the first molar because this tooth receives the heaviest masticatory load. These loads were added to two types of fixed partial denture. the rigid connector, and the nonrigid connector which was connected on the distal side of the intermediate abutment by a key and keyway device. After the stress patterns in surrounding tissues were observed, the following conclusions were as follows: 1. When the vertical load was applied to the first and second molars on the occlusal surfaces, the surrounding tissues of the roots of the canine, the second premolar, and the second molar were all compressive stresses. 2. When the vertical load was applied on the occlusal surface of the second molar, the tissue surrounding the roots of the canine, the second premolar, and the second molar all showed more stresses with the nonrigid connector than with the rigid connector. 3. When the vertical load was applied to the occlusal surface of the first molar, the stress concentration on the canine and the second molar was similar, whether the rigid or nonrigic connectors were used. However, on the second premolar, the stress concentration shown by the nonrigid connector was noticeably more than that shown by the rigid connector. 4. Whether the rigid or nonrigid connectors were used, when the load was placed on the first molar, the stress concentration on the canine and the second premolar was greater than that observed for the second molar. When the load was placed on the second molar, the load affected the second molar more than the canine and the second premolar.
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