Shape optimization of dental implants

Li Shi, Haiyan Li, Alex S L Fok, Cemal Ucer, Hugh Devlin, Keith Horner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to derive alternative implant shapes which could minimize the stress concentration at the shoulder level of the implant. Materials and Methods: A topological shape optimization technique (soft kill option), which mimics biological growth, was used in conjunction with the finite element (FE) method to optimize the shape of a dental implant under loads. Shape optimization of the implant was carried out using a 2-dimensional (2D) FE model of the mandible. Three-dimensional (3D) FE analyses were then performed to verify the reduction of peak stresses in the optimized design. Results: Some of the designs formulated using optimization resembled the shape of a natural tooth. Guided by the results of the optimization, alternative implant designs with a taper and a larger crestal radius at the shoulder were derived. Subsequent FE analyses indicated that the peak stresses of these optimized implants under both axial and oblique loads were significantly lower than those observed around a model of commercially available dental implant. Conclusion: The new implant shapes obtained using FE-based shape optimization techniques can potentially increase the success of dental implants due to the reduced stress concentration at the bone-implant interface. INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 2007;22:911-920.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-920
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Crestal bone loss
  • Dental implant
  • Finite element analysis
  • Shape optimization


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