PURPOSE. To analyze stress distribution in premolars restored with inlays or onlays using various materials. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Three-dimensional maxillary premolar models of abutments were designed to include the following: 1) inlay with O cavity (O group), 2) inlay with MO cavity (MO group), 3) inlay with MOD cavity (MOD group), and 4) onlay (ONLAY group). A restoration of each inlay or onlay cavity was simulated using gold alloy, e.max ceramic, or composite resin for restoration. To simulate masticatory forces, a total of 140 N static axial force was applied onto the tooth at the occlusal contact areas. A finite element analysis was performed to predict the magnitude and pattern of stresses generated by occlusal loading. RESULTS. Maximum von Mises stress values generated in the abutment teeth of the ONLAY group were ranged from 26.1 to 26.8 MPa, which were significantly lower than those of inlay groups (O group: 260.3-260.7 MPa; MO group: 252.1-262.4 MPa; MOD group: 281.4-298.8 MPa). Maximum von Mises stresses generated with ceramic, gold, and composite restorations were 280.1, 269.9, and 286.6 MPa, respectively, in the MOD group. They were 252.2, 248.0, 255.1 MPa, respectively, in the ONLAY group. CONCLUSION. The onlay design (ONLAY group) protected tooth structures more effectively than inlay designs (O, MO, and MOD groups). However, stress magnitudes in restorations with various dental materials exhibited no significant difference among groups (O, MO, MOD, ONLAY).
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