Modeling and validation of a 3D premolar for finite element analysis

Abstract Introduction The development and validation of mathematical models is an important step of the methodology of finite element studies. Objective This study aims to describe the development and validation of a three-dimensional numerical model of a maxillary premolar for finite element analysis. Material and method The 3D model was based on standardized photographs of sequential slices of an intact premolar and generated with the use of SolidWorks Software (Dassault, France). In order to validate the model, compression and numerical tests were performed. The load versus displacement graphs of both tests were visually compared, the percentage of error calculated and homogeneity of regression coefficients tested. Result An accurate 3D model was developed and validated since the graphs were visually similar, the percentage error was within acceptable limits, and the straight lines were considered parallel. Conclusion The modeling procedures and validation described allows the development of accurate 3D dental models with biomechanical behavior similar to natural teeth. The methods may be applied in development and validation of new models and computer-aided simulations using FEM.