Stress Distribution in Human Zygomatic Pillar Using Three-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis

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Felippe Bevilacqua Prado; Pedro Yoshito Noritomi; Alexandre Rodrigues Freire; Ana Cláudia Rossi; Francisco Haiter Neto & Paulo Henrique Ferreira Caria


This paper aimed to analyze stress distribution in human zygomatic pillar during masseter muscle contraction using three-dimensional finite element analysis. A three-dimensional model and hemi facial skull were produced based on CT-scan data. An adult male skull with structural anatomy integrity was used as model. Muscles forces were applied at origin of elevator muscles and supports was applied at the occlusal surfaces at first and second molars to simulate a masticatory load and stimulate the zygomatic pillar. Supports were applied to the occlusal contacts. Symmetry conditions were placed at the mid-sagittal plane. For the top and back cutting plane, constraints were used. Equivalent Von-Mises Stress and Maximum Principal Stress analysis were performed from the stress fields along the zygomatic pillar. It was represented by stress concentration at the alveolar process, zygomatic bone, frontal and temporal process of zygomatic bone and superciliary arch. Stress line indicates distribution of stress from maxilla toward the frontal and temporal bone. The stresses occurred due to resultant occlusal forces is mainly supported by the zygomatic bone, non-uniformly distributed and predominantly through the zygomatic pillar. This study contributed to better understanding of stress distribution in zygomatic pillar to understand the influence of chewing on zygomatic pillar morphology and also be useful for clinical practice.

KEY WORDS: Biomechanics; Skull; Finite element analysis.

How to cite this article

PRADO, F. B.; NORITOMI, P. Y.; FREIRE, A. R.; ROSSI, A. C.; NETO, F. H. & CARIA, P. H. F. Stress distribution in human zygomatic pillar using three-dimensional finite element analysis. Int. J. Morphol., 31(4):1386-1392, 2013.