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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2001 Sep;120(3):263-71.

A mechanism of noncontinuous supraosseous tooth eruption.

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Biomechanics and Biomaterials Research Center, Indiana University, Indianapolis 46202, USA.


Numerous theories have been propounded to explain the various aspects of tooth eruption, but no general consensus exists about some of the underlying mechanisms that govern these aspects. An important unresolved issue is the source of the motive forces that displace teeth. We proposed that supraosseous eruptive forces are generated by tooth socket distortions caused by functional jaw deformations. Previous studies used basic equations of static equilibrium to demonstrate that the concomitant stretching of the oblique periodontal ligament (PDL) fibers give rise to forces that may cause supraosseous tooth eruption. For a more rigorous and expanded analysis, we applied the finite element method (FEM). Three functional loads were considered, but the FEM calculations strongly suggested that all jaw deformations contribute to tooth extrusion. It was also demonstrated that the PDL fiber disruptions that are likely to occur with increased stretching can provide a mechanism to stabilize the erupted position.

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