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Chang KH, Magdum S, Khera SC, Goel VK. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 2003; 31(5): 621-631.


School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA.


(Copyright © 2003, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






This paper presents a systematic and practical method for constructing accurate computer and physical models that can be employed for the study of human tooth mechanics. The proposed method starts with a histological section preparation of a human tooth. Through tracing outlines of the tooth on the sections, discrete points are obtained and are employed to construct B-spline curves that represent the exterior contours and dentino-enamel junction (DEJ) of the tooth using a least square curve fitting technique. The surface skinning technique is then employed to quilt the B-spline curves to create a smooth boundary and DEJ of the tooth using B-spline surfaces. These surfaces are respectively imported into SolidWorks via its application protocol interface to create solid models. The solid models are then imported into Pro/MECHANICA Structure for finite element analysis (FEA). The major advantage of the proposed method is that it first generates smooth solid models, instead of finite element models in discretized form. As a result, a more advanced p-FEA can be employed for structural analysis, which usually provides superior results to traditional h-FEA. In addition, the solid model constructed is smooth and can be fabricated with various scales using the solid freeform fabrication technology. This method is especially useful in supporting bioengineering applications, where the shape of the object is usually complicated. A human maxillary second molar is presented to illustrate and demonstrate the proposed method. Note that both the solid and p-FEA models of the molar are presented. However, comparison between p- and h-FEA models is out of the scope of the paper.

Language: en


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