Automatic virtual alignment of dental arches in orthodontics

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4 Scopus citations


A key task in orthodontic treatment planning is to align the teeth in a given lower and upper arch so as to establish an ideal occlusion (i.e., contact relationship), subject to certain dental constraints. A simulation- based approach is introduced to establish a near- optimal occlusion based on certain dental constraints that are defined using features on tooth surfaces (e.g., cusps, ridges, incisal edges etc.). The alignment process is modeled as the simulation of a hypothetical spring- mass system where masses representing teeth are connected and influenced by springs representing dental constraints. The set of constraints chosen is based on well- known guidelines to achieve normal occlusion and to detect the most common type of orthodontic errors. The design and implementation of such a simulation- based system are discussed and experimental results are provided to demonstrate the efficacy of the approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-398
Number of pages28
JournalComputer-Aided Design and Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported, in part, by the Orthodontics Education and Research Fund at the University of Minnesota. We thank Mike Marshall for help with the evaluation phase of this work.


  • Dental alignment
  • Dental features
  • Digital orthodontics
  • Malocclusion
  • Surface mesh

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