Numeric simulations of en-masse space closure with sliding mechanics

Yukio Kojima, Hisao Fukui
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 2010, 138 (6): 702.e1-6; discussion 702-4

INTRODUCTION: En-masse sliding mechanics have been typically used for space closure. Because of friction created at the bracket-wire interface, the force system during tooth movement has not been clarified.

METHODS: Long-term tooth movements in en-masse sliding mechanics were simulated with the finite element method.

RESULTS: Tipping of the anterior teeth occurred immediately after application of retraction forces. The force system then changed so that the teeth moved almost bodily, and friction occurred at the bracket-wire interface. Net force transferred to the anterior teeth was approximately one fourth of the applied force. The amount of the mesial force acting on the posterior teeth was the same as that acting on the anterior teeth. Irrespective of the amount of friction, the ratio of movement distances between the posterior and anterior teeth was almost the same. By increasing the applied force or decreasing the frictional coefficient, the teeth moved rapidly, but the tipping angle of the anterior teeth increased because of the elastic deflection of the archwire.

CONCLUSIONS: Finite element simulation clarified the tooth movement and the force system in en-masse sliding mechanics. Long-term tooth movement could not be predicted from the initial force system. The friction was not detrimental to the anchorage. Increasing the applied force or decreasing the friction for rapid tooth movement might result in tipping of the teeth.

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