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Acta Biomater. 2007 Jan;3(1):121-6. Epub 2006 Sep 25.

Biomechanical effects of titanium implants with full arch bridge rehabilitation on a synthetic model of the human jaw.

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Institute for Composite and Biomedical Materials, National Research Council, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Napoli, Italy.


A composite model of the mandible, constituted by an inner polymeric core and a glass fibre reinforced outer shell, has been developed and equipped with six ITI titanium implants and a full gold alloy arch bridge prosthesis. The effects of this oral rehabilitation on the biomechanics of the mandible are investigated through a simulation of the lateral component of the pterygoid muscles. These muscles are involved as the mouth is opened and closed, hence their activity is very frequent. An increase of the mandible stiffness due to the prosthesis is observed; moreover, the coupling of the relatively stiff rehabilitation devices with the natural tissue analogue leads to stress-shielding and stress-concentration in the incisal and molar regions, respectively. Although the amplitude of the force generated by pterygoid muscles is quite small, high strains over the incisal region are measured. A stress-shielding effect, of about 20%, is observed at the symphysis as the full arch bridge prosthesis is fixed on the implants. Therefore, the presence of the prosthesis leads to significant modification of the stress field experienced by the mandible, and this may be relevant in relation to the biomechanics of mandibular bone remodelling.

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