Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a disorder characterised by complete or partial occlusion of the upper airway during sleep. Muscles relax during sleeping and collapse into the airway, closing the throat and prohibiting air flowing into the lungs. Different solutions have been adopted to manage the pathology to improve the life quality of affected patients. Mandibular advancement devices (MADs) are proven to be a compliant and successful therapy in the forward repositioning of the mandible to increase the upper airway volume. However, this method has some long-term adverse events that may affect the teeth and periodontal ligaments. This paper presents a finite element model to evaluate the MADs effects (displacement and stress) on teeth and periodontal ligaments, by varying the design, the point of application of the force and the material. The modelled bodies have been reconstructed through a Reverse Engineering approach and computer-aided design tools starting from tomographic images of anatomic bodies and from laser scans of a physical MAD. The results suggest that a central connection mechanism could affect mostly the anterior teeth. In contrast, a lateral connection mechanism provides a more uniform distribution of the load on teeth.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.