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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
School of Dentistry
Department of Restorative Sciences

PI: Alex Fok

Shape and Material Optimization of Dental Restorations

Excessively high stresses at the interface between biological tissues and dental restorations are thought to be the main cause of restoration failure such as deterioration at the restoration margins, fracture of restoration, and bone resorption around dental implants. The aim of this project is to increase the reliability and longevity of dental restorations by reducing the interfacial stresses through modern shape and material optimization techniques. Optimization methods that mimic biological growth will be coded as user-material subroutines in the commercial finite element code ABAQUS. The program together with the subroutines will be used to optimize the shapes and material distributions of dental restorations that range from cavity preparations to fiber-reinforced dental bridges and dental implants. Prior to this, anatomically realistic models will be created using images obtained from a micro-CT scanner. Commercial software such as Mimics will be used for such purposes. The results from the finite element studies will then provide guidelines for the formulation of appropriate laboratory tests to validate the optimization approach. ABAQUS, together with a user-element subroutine based on continuum damage mechanics, is also being used to simulate the debonding and fracture of dental restorations. This helps to minimize the costs of experimental validation by evaluating the likelihood of success of the optimized designs numerically beforehand.

Group Members

Yungchung Chen, Graduate Student
Christopher K. Dens, Graduate Student
Haiyan Li, Research Associate
Shih-Hao Huang, Visiting Researcher
Jianying Li, Research Associate
Lianshan Lin, Visiting Researcher
Tanawat Ritkajorn, Graduate Student
Gyanender Pratap Singh, Graduate Student
Rodrigo Tiossi, Visiting Researcher