The European Journal of Orthodontics 2002 24(4):319-326; doi:10.1093/ejo/24.4.319
Department of Orthodontics, Nihon University School of Dentistry, Tokyo, Japan
ABSTRACT: The biomechanical influences of head posture on the cervical column and craniofacial complex during masticatory simulation were quantified using three-dimensional (3D) finite element analysis (FEA). Three types of finite element model (FEM) were designed to examine relationships between the position of the head and malocclusion. Model A was constructed to have a standardized cervical column curve, model B a forward inclined posture, and model C a backward inclined posture. The results of the spinal displacements revealed that model B moved in a forward direction and model C in a backward direction during masticatory simulation. The stress distributions on the cervical column (C1-C7) for models A, B, and C showed differences; stress converged at the atlas in model A, high-level stresses were observed at the spinous processes of C6 and C7 in model C, and the stress converged at the anterior edge in the vertebral body of C4 of model B. Stress distribution on the occlusal plane and maxillofacial structure did not show absolute differences among the three models. Alteration of head posture was directly related to stress distribution on the cervical column, but may not always directly influence the occlusal state.