A Computational Analysis of the Biomechanics of Immediately Loaded Dental Implants

Open Access
Shannon, Ryan Timothy
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Jing Du, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Sean Brennan, Honors Advisor
  • Strain
  • Dentistry
  • Implants
  • Dental Implants
  • Digital Volume Correlation
  • Finite Element
  • Stress
Stresses and strain in the bone surrounding a dental implant are of interest regarding the study of bone healing following the dental implantation procedure. Techniques for mapping strain in bone have been developed for physical experimentation, but computational methods for finding these strain maps are more desirable for their flexibility in dealing with changing physical properties, loading conditions, and geometries. This project first aims to develop a finite element model of a surgical dental implant and two adjacent teeth. Two implants from a cadaver are scanned by a micro-CT scanner and those images are used to create two models. The first is an implant for tooth 23 and the second for tooth 26. After building the model, the implant is loaded with a pressure and the resultant stress and strain in the teeth and surrounding bone are calculated using the finite element method. The effects of element size are studied. Various boundary conditions are explored. The parameters of the model are then modified to simulate various conditions including differences in the stiffness of the cortical bone, the teeth dentin, and the titanium implant. These differences in material properties arise from an interval of stiffness values in the literature for bone and teeth, and the unknown composition of the implant. The computational model is compared to a physical experiment during which the same implants were loaded by a downward force of 100 N. In the experiment, the implant-tooth complexes were scanned again after loading, and digital volume correlation methods were measured to calculate the strain [1]. The goal for this project is to evaluate the finite element method as a means for studying the mechanical effects of loaded implants in the surrounding bone. The methods developed in this project might be used in future studies of implant-bone complexes.