The effects of the periodontal ligament on mandibular stiffness: a study combining finite element analysis and geometric morphometrics

F Gröning, M J Fagan, P O'Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is generally accepted that the periodontal ligament (PDL) plays a crucial role in transferring occlusal forces from the teeth to the alveolar bone. Studies using finite element analysis (FEA) have helped to better understand this role and show that the stresses and strains in the alveolar bone are influenced by whether and how PDL is included in FE models. However, when the overall distribution of stresses and strains in crania and mandibles are of interest, PDL is often not included in FE models, although little is known about how this affects the results. Here we study the effect of representing PDL as a layer of solid material with isotropic homogeneous properties in an FE model of a human mandible using a novel application of geometric morphometrics. The results show that the modelling of the PDL affects the deformation and thus strain magnitudes not only of the alveolar bone around the biting tooth, but that the whole mandible deforms differently under load. As a result, the strain in the mandibular corpus is significantly increased when PDL is included, while the strain in the bone beneath the biting tooth is reduced. These results indicate the importance of the PDL in FE studies. Thus we recommend that the PDL should be included in FE models of the masticatory apparatus, with tests to assess the sensitivity of the results to changes in the Young's modulus of the PDL material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1304-1312
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Volume44
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2011

Keywords

  • automation
  • bone and bones
  • computer simulation
  • finite element analysis
  • humans
  • mandible
  • mastication
  • models, theoretical
  • multivariate analysis
  • muscles
  • periodontal ligament
  • pressure
  • principal component analysis
  • stress, mechanical
  • tooth

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