Journal of Applied Biomaterials and Functional Materials, vol.17, no.4, 2019 (SCI-Expanded)
© The Author(s) 2019.Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different heights of attachment and mucosa thicknesses on the stress distribution of two implant-retained mandibular overdenture designs under loading using the photoelastic stress analysis method. Materials and methods: Six photoelastic models of an edentulous mandibula were fabricated with two solitary implants that were placed in the canine regions. The attachment systems studied were ball and locator stud attachments. Both the ball and locator groups included three models that had different residual ridge heights so as to provide different mucosa thicknesses (1 mm–1 mm, 1 mm–2 mm, 1 mm–4 mm). A static vertical force of 135 N was applied unilaterally (each on the right then the left side) to the central fossa of the first molars. Models were positioned in the field of a circular polariscope to observe the distribution of isochromatic fringes around the implants and the interimplant areas under loading. The photoelastic stress fringes were monitored and recorded photographically. Results: The ball attachment groups showed higher stress values than did the locator groups under loading. Both attachment systems produced the lowest stress values in stimulated 1 mm–1 mm mucosa thickness models. The models with 1 mm–2 mm mucosa thicknesses showed higher stress values than did other models for both attachment systems. The highest stress value observed around both attachment systems was the moderate level in all test models. Conclusion: In different height mucosa thicknesses, locator attachment models distributed the load to the other side of the implant and its surrounding tissue, whereas the ball attachment did not. Regardless of mucosal thickness and attachment type, the implant on the loading side was subjected to the highest stress concentration.