Fem Sensitivity Analyses on the Stress Levels in a Human Mandible with a Varying ATM Modelling Complexity

E. Armentani1, F. Caputo2, R. Citarella*, 3
1 Department of Material and Production Engineering, University of Naples Federico II - Italy
2 Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Second University of Naples - Italy
3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Salerno - Italy

© 2010 Armentani et al

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Salerno, Italy; Tel: +39-089964082; Fax: +39-089964070; E-mail:


In this work the structural behaviour of a mandible considering a unilateral occlusion is numerically analysed by means of the Finite Element Method (FEM). The mandible, considered as completely edentolous, is modelled together with its articular disks, whose material behaviour is assumed as elastic or hyper-elastic. The mandible model is obtained by computer tomography scans. The anisotropic and non homogeneous bone material behaviour is considered and the loads applied to the mandible are those related to the active muscle groups during unilateral occlusion. The results of FEM analysis are presented mainly in terms of stress distribution on the mandible. Because of uncertainty on the determination of the adopted parameters, a sensitivity analysis is provided, showing the way in which the variation of articular disc stiffness and temporomandibular joint friction coefficient has an impact on the mandible stress peak and occlusal force.

Keywords: Mandible, finite element method, articular disc, sensitivity analysis.