The influence of disc wear on the behavior of the temporomandibular joint: a finite element analysis in a specific case

  • Duarte, Ricardo J. (DTEMA, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Aveiro) ;
  • Ramos, Antonio (DTEMA, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Aveiro) ;
  • Mesnard, Michel (Universite de Bordeaux, Institut de Mecanique et d'Ingenierie, CNRS UMR 5295)
  • Received : 2013.10.02
  • Accepted : 2014.06.27
  • Published : 2014.09.25


The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of disc thickness on the normal behavior of the temporomandibular joint. Based on a specific patient case, CT scan images showing accentuated wear in the right disc were reconstructed and the geometrical and finite element model of the temporomandibular joint structures (cranium, mandible, articular cartilages and articular discs) was developed. The loads applied in this study were referent to the five most relevant muscular forces acting on the temporomandibular joint during daily tasks such as talking or eating. We observed that the left side structures of the temporomandibular joint (cranium, mandible and articular disc) were the most affected as a consequence of the wear on the opposite articular disc (right side). From these results, it was possible to evaluate the differences in the two sides of the joint and understand how a damaged articular disc influences the behavior of this joint and the possible consequences that can arise without treatment.



Supported by : University of Bordeaux


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