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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 85-91  

Application of finite element model in implant dentistry: A systematic review

1 Department of Periodontics, College of Dentistry, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE
2 Department of Periodontics, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication28-May-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M Sesha Reddy
Department of Periodontics, College of Dentistry, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JPBS.JPBS_296_18

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FEM was technologically innovated which initially aimed at answering structural analysis difficulties involving Mechanics, Civil and Aeronautical Engineering. FEM basically stands for a numerical model of analyzing stresses as well as distortions in the form of any agreed geometry. There for the shape is discretized into the so-called ‘finite elements’ coupled through nodes. Accuracy of the results is determined by type, planning and total number of elements used for a particular study model. 3-D FE model was designed for in-depth qualitative examination of the relations amongst implant, tooth, periodontal ligament, and bone. Scholarly work equating work reliability, validated with a 3-D modeling suggested that meticulous data can be acquired with respect to stress distribution in bone. Comparative results from 3-D FEA studies showed that 3D FEA, when matched with in-vivo strain gauge measurements were corresponding with clinical outcomes. The aim of this review of literature is to provide an overview to show the application of FEM in (Short) implant dentistry.

Keywords: FEM, short implants, stress analysis, platform switched-implants

How to cite this article:
Reddy M S, Sundram R, Eid Abdemagyd HA. Application of finite element model in implant dentistry: A systematic review. J Pharm Bioall Sci 2019;11, Suppl S2:85-91

How to cite this URL:
Reddy M S, Sundram R, Eid Abdemagyd HA. Application of finite element model in implant dentistry: A systematic review. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Nov 30];11, Suppl S2:85-91. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Since the discovery of dental implants by Brånemark,[1] it has become a ground-breaking reality on the use of dental implants for replacing a missing teeth. Dental implants have become an inseparable part of dental practice and their use in recent years has increased in leaps and bounds. Clinical success of a dental implant mainly depends on its biomechanical behavior, as the pattern of stress distribution in dental implants is completely different from that of a natural tooth.[2] Because the latter has a periodontal ligament that acts as a shock absorber to occlusal forces,[3] success or failure of dental implant mainly depends on a key feature, that is, the manner in which stress is transferred from dental implant to the adjoining alveolar bone.[4],[5]

If the occlusal forces around a dental implant are distributed homogenously, then the bone is maintained well. When we look into the literature, several attempts to preserve the marginal bone around dental implants have been made.[6] Contributing factors for marginal bone loss that have been accepted to some degree are biological, clinical, and mechanical factors.[7] It is vital to understand the biomechanical behavior of bony tissues and dental implants to prevent marginal bone loss and implant failure.

To prevent implant failures and complications caused by mechanical and technical factors, these factors have to be evaluated in advance. As a result, use of these essential steps could increase the survival rate of implant-supported restorations. Hence, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of biomechanical studies in the field of implant dentistry in an effort to decrease dental implant failure rates.[8]

Research in different fields of Dentistry needs a methodology that is cost-effective and reproducible. Such an approach may perhaps be situated to guide researchers in biomechanics structure in healthy and pathologic conditions.

In bioengineering field, the application of simulations introduced in recent years certainly is a vital instrument to measure the best clinical option, only if that is precisely sufficient in investigation, particularly physiological conditions. Oral environment in biomechanical research such as restorative dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, periodontics, and implantology has been studied in vitro because the oral cavity is an intricate biomechanical system because of its complexity and limited access.[9]

A noninvasive way to predict in vivo contact mechanics is computerized modeling. To investigate stress distribution around the peri-implant bone, various methods have been currently explored. To name a few, we have photoelastic model, strain gauge analysis, and three-dimensional (3D) finite element analysis (FEA).[10] Because of availability of software and the ability to determine 3D stresses and strains, finite element modeling (FEM) is considered the most commonly used method.[11],[12]

Initially, FEM was technologically innovated, which aimed at answering structural analysis difficulties involving Mechanics, Civil, and Aeronautical Engineering. FEM basically stands for a numerical model of analyzing stresses as well as distortions in the form of any agreed geometry.[13],[14] Therefore, the shape is discretized into the so-called finite elements coupled through nodes. Accuracy of the results is determined by type, planning, and total number of elements used for a particular study model.[15]

3D FEM was designed for in-depth qualitative examination of the relations among implant, tooth, periodontal ligament, and bone. Scholarly work equating work reliability, validated with a 3D modeling, suggested that meticulous data can be acquired with respect to stress distribution in bone. Comparative results from 3D FEA studies showed that 3D FEA results, when matched with in vivo strain gauge measurements, were corresponding to clinical outcomes.[16]

   Materialsand Methods Top


The present systemic review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Flow diagram (PRISMA format) of the screening and selection process

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Eligibility criteria, information sources, and search strategy

A literature survey was conducted from 2008 to May 2018 to identify all aspects of the studies that examined the role of FEM in dental implants. PubMed, EMBASE, and Scielo databases were searched using keywords FEM and Dental Implants with their respective abbreviations according to the search engine used.

Study selection

Full-text article published only in English language were included in the analysis. Search was further filtered to include only research articles. Research article with emphasis on 3D FEM and stress evaluation on cortical bone with periodontal implications were considered for final analysis.

   Results Top

By FEA, researchers predict stress distribution in the contact area between cortical bone and implant as well as around the apex of implants in the trabecular bone, which is explained by the help of tables [Table 1] and [Table 2].
Table 1: Use of the FEM to evaluate the stress of short implants

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Table 2: FEM and stress distribution in platform switched-implants

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   Discussion Top

Application of finite element analysis in dentistry

Meticulous quantifiable information on any place inside a mathematical model can be provided by FEA. As a result, FEA has turned out to be a valued analytical instrument in the estimation of stress and strain in implant systems. One of the salient characteristics of FEM rests in its near physical similarity among the real structure as well as its FEM. However, unnecessary simplification in geometry shall invariably lead to inconsistent results.[34],[35],[36],[37]

Rules generally followed in FEM and implant–bone biomechanics

FEA model can be applied to various physical problems and its power lies in its versatility. The structure that is to be analyzed may have random form, loads, and supporting conditions; in addition, the mesh may be able to amalgamate features of diverse shapes, types, and physical properties.

FEA outcomes give: (1) complete geometry of the implant and surrounding bone to be modeled, (2) boundary conditions, (3) material properties, (4) loading conditions, (5) interface between bone and implant, (6) convergence test, and (7) validation.[2]

Advantages of FEM

  • It enables the visualization of superimposed structures.

  • Specification and the material properties of anatomic craniofacial structures can be evaluated.

  • We can locate the magnitude and direction of an applied force.

  • It provides stress points that can be measured theoretically.

  • Physical properties of the analyzed materials are not altered.

  • It is easy to repeat.

  • It is a noninvasive technique.

  • Both static and dynamic analyses can be carried out.

  • A reduced amount of time spent.

  • Study can be repeated as many times.

  • No need to sacrifice animals to evaluate stress and strain.

  • Disadvantages of FEM

  • Incorrect information, statistics, and interpretation will yield totally misguiding results.

  • Need to have computer knowledge.

  • Need to have thorough information about their mechanical behaviors.

  • Certain expectations are bound to be accepted. Hence, outcomes will be determined by people associated in the study.

  • Stress values evaluation and its validity in FEM study

    Stress distribution in FEM studies is generally interpreted as von Mises stress, which could be maximum and minimum principal stress or it could be principal strains.[38] von Mises stress is estimated in three planes, that is, x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis using a formula.[39] Validation is done by comparing the current FEM results with that of the previous studies related to a particular topic. It provides knowledge on whether precise models were designed for the study or not. Further, it would corroborate the results of previous studies and it may either support or refute with the literature. The best way to validate FEM results is to conduct in vitro and in vivo experimental studies simultaneously. If the results are good, then it could be recommended for future studies.[40]

       Conclusion Top

    For better understanding, the biomechanics of dental implants and the use of computer technology alongside with more profound awareness about the concept, methodology, advantages, and limitations of FEA have to be assessed elaborately. As a result, clinicians can use this modern technology to enhance implant survival by well accepting the biomechanics of dental implantology.

    In this article, authors had made an effort to address the basics of FEA in dental implantology. The features that make FEA a powerful tool sufficient to reliably mention on flexible stress states in a complex structure are known.

    Similar to any other instrument used to resolve a problem, the explanation made can only be as robust as the suitable application of the instrument itself. Upcoming investigation ought to attempt to correlate results with clinical findings. In doing so, it enhances the validity of the models. In addition, simulate the consequence of saliva, infection and fatigue failure under repetitive, realistic, and cyclic loading conditions have to be evaluated.

    Financial support and sponsorship


    Conflicts of interest

    There are no conflicts of interest.

       References Top

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      [Table 1], [Table 2]


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