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J Prosthet Dent. 1991 Oct;66(4):451-9.

Stresses at the dentinoenamel junction of human teeth--a finite element investigation.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City.


A three-dimensional, linear, elastic finite element model of a maxillary first premolar from longitudinal ground sections was developed to investigate stress variation in the enamel and dentin adjacent to the dentinoenamel junction (DEJ). The effect of regional variation in the contour of the DEJ on the stress patterns for enamel and dentin was also analyzed. The normal (compressive or tensile) and shear stresses in the dentin and enamel surfaces of the DEJ were computed for a vertical load of 170 N acting on the entire occlusal surface of the model. The normal stresses in dentin and enamel were maximum on the occlusal surface of the model and diminished along the buccal and lingual surfaces of the DEJ. However, the magnitude of the normal stresses increased at the cervical enamel, which also showed increased values for shear stress distribution. The normal and shear stresses were markedly affected by the contour of the DEJ and the thickness of enamel in the occlusal third on the buccal and lingual surfaces. The results suggested that because the mechanical interlocking between enamel and dentin in the cervical region is weaker than in other regions of the DEJ, enamel in this region may be susceptible to belated cracking that could eventually contribute to the development of cervical caries.

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