Statement of the Problem: Retrieval of cement-retained implant-supported restorations is challenging in cases of screw loosening or periodontal problems.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the screw access hole on the fracture resistance of zirconia-based cement-retained restorations with and without an access opening.
Materials and Method: In this in vitro study thirty-three cement-retained implant-supported zirconia-based molar crowns were fabricated and divided into 3 groups (n=11). As the control group, group 1 consisted of conventional cement-retained crowns. Group 2 comprised conventional cement-retained crowns in which a hole was created in the location of the screw. Group 3 consisted of cement-retained crowns in which a ledge was created in the location of the screw access channel. The specimens were cemented to their abutments and their access openings were filled with composite resin. A compressive load was applied to the specimens using a universal testing machine until they fractured. The mean fracture resistance values of the samples were compared by using the one-way ANOVA and Tamhane post-hoc test (a=0.05).
Results: The mean fracture resistance values were 1270.18± 12.67 N in group 1 (the control group), 960.09±210.67 N in group 2 (conventional), and 1357.81±361.68 N in group 3 (the special design). The fracture resistance value was higher in the special design group than that of the conventional design (p= 0.018) and the fracture resistance value of the conventional design group was less than that of the control group (p= 0.042). No statistically significant difference was detected between the control group and the special design group in fracture resistance values.
Conclusion: Preparing a screw access hole in cement-retained implant-supported zirconia-based crowns decreased the fracture resistance of the restoration. Designing a ledge in the zirconia framework around the access hole may increase the fracture resistance of the restoration.