Effects of aligner activation and power arm length and material on canine displacement and periodontal ligament stress: a finite element analysis

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Inan A., GONCA M.

Progress in Orthodontics, vol.24, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s40510-023-00492-1
  • Journal Name: Progress in Orthodontics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Aligners, Biomechanics, Distalization, FEM, Orthodontic space closure
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Background: This study aimed to assess the impact of aligner activation and power arm length and material on canine and aligner displacement, von Mises stress in the power arm, and principal stress in the periodontal ligament (PDL) during canine tooth distalization using finite element analysis (FEA). The effects of aligner activation and power arm length were primary outcomes, while the effect of the power arm material was a secondary outcome. Methods: Aligner activation (0.1 mm or 0.2 mm) was applied without using a power arm in two models. The effects of aligner activation, power arm length (12, 13, or 14 mm) and power arm material (stainless steel [SS] or fiber-reinforced composite [FRC]) on canine distalization were investigated in 12 models by evaluating displacement and stress via ALTAIR OptiStruct analysis. Results: Greater canine displacement was observed in all models with 0.2 mm than 0.1 mm of aligner activation. When models with the same aligner activation were compared, reduced mesiodistal tipping, increased palatal tipping, and increased extrusion of the canine cusp were observed with increasing power arm length. Moreover, the von Mises stress increased as the power arm length increased. Increasing the aligner activation and power arm length increased the maximum principal stress in the PDL. Power arms of the same length in both materials showed the same results in terms of canine displacement, clear aligner displacement, and maximum principal stress in the PDL. However, under conditions of equal length and aligner activation, the von Mises stress of the SS power arm was higher than that of the FRC power arm. Conclusion: Using a power arm in canine distalization reduced mesiodistal tipping but increased palatal tipping and extrusion of the canine cusp. Aligner activation and additional force increased tooth movement and principal stress in the canine PDL. FRC power arms exhibited less von Mises stress than SS power arms.