Impact of Canal Taper and Access Cavity Design on the Life Span of an Endodontically Treated Mandibular Molar: A Finite Element Analysis

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-1-2021


Introduction: This study investigated the impact of different canal tapers and access cavity designs on the life span of endodontically treated mandibular first molars using the finite element method. Methods: Finite element analysis was performed on simulated models with 3 access cavity designs (traditional, conservative, and truss). The mesial canals were prepared to either constant tapers of 25/.04 and 25/.06 or a variable taper corresponding to the cumulative canal preparation shapes of TruNatomy Prime (Dentsply Sirona, Charlotte, NC) and ProTaper Gold F2 (Dentsply Sirona). The distal canals in all models had a 40/.04 preparation. Using occlusal fingerprint analysis, all models were subjected to cyclic occlusal loading until model failure. The number of cycles until failure, the location of failure, stress distribution patterns, and the maximum von Mises stresses were assessed. Results: The traditional access models showed a lower life span than the conservative and truss models regardless of the canal taper, whereas there was not a notable difference in the conservative and truss models. The stresses migrated apically along the root surface and remarkably on the mesial aspect of the mesial root and the furcation area's outer surface. After root canal preparation with different tapers, there were no evident changes in the pattern and magnitude of the stresses distributed along the root surface. Conclusions: The life span of the tooth is affected more significantly by the access cavity design than the root canal preparation taper. Because stress patterns migrate apically rather than concentrate in the pericervical area, crack initiation and propagation might occur anywhere on the root surface