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Inclusion of periodontal ligament fibres in mandibular finite element models leads to an increase in alveolar bone strains.

Inclusion of periodontal ligament fibres in mandibular finite element models leads to an increase in alveolar bone strains.
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McCormack SW, Witzel U, Watson PJ, Fagan MJ, Gröning F,


McCormack SW, Witzel U, Watson PJ, Fagan MJ, Gröning F, (click to view)

McCormack SW, Witzel U, Watson PJ, Fagan MJ, Gröning F,

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PloS one 2017 11 3012(11) e0188707 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0188707
Abstract

Alveolar bone remodelling is vital for the success of dental implants and orthodontic treatments. However, the underlying biomechanical mechanisms, in particular the function of the periodontal ligament (PDL) in bone loading and remodelling, are not well understood. The PDL is a soft fibrous connective tissue that joins the tooth root to the alveolar bone and plays a critical role in the transmission of loads from the tooth to the surrounding bone. However, due to its complex structure, small size and location within the tooth socket it is difficult to study in vivo. Finite element analysis (FEA) is an ideal tool with which to investigate the role of the PDL, however inclusion of the PDL in FE models is complex and time consuming, therefore consideration must be given to how it is included. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of including the PDL and its fibrous structure in mandibular finite element models. A high-resolution model of a human molar region was created from micro-computed tomography scans. This is the first time that the fibrous structure of the PDL has been included in a model with realistic tooth and bone geometry. The results show that omission of the PDL creates a more rigid model, reducing the strains observed in the mandibular corpus which are of interest when considering mandibular functional morphology. How the PDL is modelled also affects the strains. The inclusion of PDL fibres alters the strains in the mandibular bone, increasing the strains in the tooth socket compared to PDL modelled without fibres. As strains in the alveolar bone are thought to play a key role in bone remodelling during orthodontic tooth movement, future FE analyses aimed at improving our understanding and management of orthodontic treatment should include the fibrous structure of the PDL.

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