Tensile stress

Tensile stress is the stress caused by a load (two forces applied away from one another in the same straight line) that tends to stretch or elongate an object. Tensile stress is not often encountered in dentistry, however there are two situations in which it may be seen. The first occurs when a patient with a crown chews a sticky candy. As the candy becomes stuck to the tooth opposite the crown and the patient opens his/her mouth, the crown is subject to tensile stress which may result in the crown being pulled off. The second situation can be observed when a fixed dental structure, such as a bridge, is flexed. The flexing of the bridge can cause it to deform and no longer fit or function correctly. There are few true cases of tensile stress in dentistry since other types of stress tend to be observed simultaneously.