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Volume 24 , Issue 6
November/December 2011

Pages 589598

Improving Mechanical Properties of Maxillary Complete Dentures Through a Bioinspired Engineering Design

James A.P. White, MEng/Ian P. Bond, BSc, PhD/Daryll C. Jagger, BDS, MSc, PhD

PMID: 22146260

Purpose: This study investigated how ribbed design features, including palatal rugae, may be used to significantly improve the structural performance of a maxillary denture under load. Materials and Methods: A computer-aided design model of a generic maxillary denture, incorporating various rib features, was created and imported into a finite element analysis program. The denture and ribbed features were assigned the material properties of standard denture acrylic resin, and load was applied in two different ways: the first simulating a three-point flexural bend of the posterior section and the second simulating loading of the entire palatal region. To investigate the combined use of ribbing and reinforcement, the same simulations were repeated with the ribbed features having a Young modulus two orders of magnitude greater than denture acrylic resin. For a prescribed load, total displacements of tracking nodes were compared to those of a control denture (without ribbing) to assess relative denture rigidity. Results: When subjected to flexural loading, an increase in rib depth was seen to result in a reduction of both the transverse displacement of the last molar and vertical displacement at the centerline. However, ribbed features assigned the material properties of denture acrylic resin require a depth that may impose on speech and bolus propulsion before significant improvements are observed. Conclusion: The use of ribbed features, when made from a significantly stiffer material (eg, fiber-reinforced polymer) and designed to mimic palatal rugae, offer an acceptable method of providing significant improvements in rigidity to a maxillary denture under flexural load. Int J Prosthodont 2011;24:589598.

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