The effect of mechanical properties of bone in the mandible, a numerical case study

  • Received : 2013.03.09
  • Accepted : 2013.06.17
  • Published : 2013.03.25


Bone properties are one of the key components when constructing models that can simulate the mechanical behavior of a mandible. Due to the complexity of the structure, the tooth, ligaments, different bones etc., some simplifications are often considered and bone properties are one of them. The objective of this study is to understand if a simplification of the problem is possible and assess its influence on mandible behavior. A cadaveric toothless mandible was used to build three computational models from CT scan information: a full cortical bone model; a cortical and cancellous bone model, and a model where the Young's modulus was obtained as function of the pixel value in a CT scan. Twelve muscle forces were applied on the mandible. Results showed that although all the models presented the same type of global behavior and proximity in some locations, the influence of cancellous bone can be seen in strain distribution. The different Young's modulus defined by the CT scan gray scale influenced the maximum and minimum strains. For modeling general behavior, a full cortical bone model can be effective. However, when cancellous bone is included, maximum values in thin regions increase the strain distribution. Results revealed that when properties are assigned to the gray scale some peaks could occur which did not represent the real situation.



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