Contact fatigue plays a critical role in performance of dental materials. Both naturally occurring materials (e.g., the tooth itself) and restorative materials, particularly ceramics are vulnerable to contact fatigue-induced and fatigue-exacerbated damage. Normal chewing functions are complex and unless accurately mimicked by test methods, do not reproduce clinically relevant failure modes. Without this, development of new material systems cannot proceed on a rational basis and will continue to rely on patients serving as the testing ground.

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