We have developed a three-dimensional (3D) force-measuring device for teeth and used it to measure functional forces in vivo. It comprises an inner part forming a metal core (abutment), a 3D piezoelectric force transducer, and an outer part forming a metal crown, all joined together with a steel screw. The force transducer can measure ±500 N along the z-axis and ±150 N along the x- and y-axes. We evaluated the relationship between output and load and the effects of hysteresis and temperature on the output. The transducer had high linearity (r > 0.9999), low hysteresis (1.7% at maximum), and high thermal stability (0.05% per degree) along each axis. The measuring device was mounted on the maxillary left second molar of a healthy male subject; the tooth had been endodontically treated (neurovascular bundle removed) and prepared for metal abutment and a crown. The 3D load calculated from the outputs of the transducer was expressed as a vector of the coordinates based on the Frankfort horizontal (x-y) and sagittal (y-z) planes. The force measured during maximum voluntary clenching was about 170 N; the force vector was directed from the crown to the root medially at an angle of about 10° from the y-z plane and posteriorly at an angle of about 3° from the x-z plane. This transducer will enable measurement of forces applied to different types of prosthetic appliances and has the potential to provide important basic in vivo data for analysis using computer simulation.
- Piezoelectric transducer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering