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Occlusal load distribution through the cortical and trabecular bone of the human mid-facial skeleton in natural dentition: A three-dimensional finite element study

Research Area: Biomedicinski inzenjering Year: 2015
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Cortical and trabecular bone; Buttresses; Mid-facial skeleton; Occlusal loading; Finite element analysis
  • Janovic, Aleksa
  • Saveljic, Igor
  • Vukicevic, Arso
  • Nikolic, Dalibor
  • Rakocevic, Zoran
  • Jovicic, Gordana
  • Filipovic, Nenad
  • Djuric, Marija
Journal: Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger Volume: 197
Pages: 16–23
Month: 1
ISSN: 0940-9602
Understanding of the occlusal load distribution through the mid-facial skeleton in natural dentition is essential because alterations in magnitude and/or direction of occlusal forces may cause remarkable changes in cortical and trabecular bone structure. Previous analyses by strain gauge technique, photoelastic and, more recently, finite element (FE) methods provided no direct evidence for occlusal load distribution through the cortical and trabecular bone compartments individually. Therefore, we developed an improved three-dimensional FE model of the human skull in order to clarify the distribution of occlusal forces through the cortical and trabecular bone during habitual masticatory activities. Particular focus was placed on the load transfer through the anterior and posterior maxilla. The results were presented in von Mises stress (VMS) and the maximum principal stress, and compared to the reported FE and strain gauge data. Our qualitative stress analysis indicates that occlusal forces distribute through the mid-facial skeleton along five vertical and two horizontal buttresses. We demonstrated that cortical bone has a priority in the transfer of occlusal load in the anterior maxilla, whereas both cortical and trabecular bone in the posterior maxilla are equally involved in performing this task. Observed site dependence of the occlusal load distribution may help clinicians in creating strategies for implantology and orthodontic treatments. Additionally, the magnitude of VMS in our model was significantly lower in comparison to previous FE models composed only of cortical bone. This finding suggests that both cortical and trabecular bone should be modeled whenever stress will be quantitatively analyzed.