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Keywords:

  • ultrasonic;
  • cortical bone;
  • biomechanics;
  • function;
  • finite-element modeling

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine regional variability of material properties in the dentate maxilla. Cortical samples were removed from 15 sites of 15 adult dentate fresh-frozen maxillas. Cortical thickness, density, elastic properties, and the direction of greatest stiffness were obtained. Results showed that cortical bone in the alveolar region tended to be thicker, less dense, and less stiff. Cortical bone from the body of the maxilla was thinner, denser, and stiffer. Palatal cortical bone was intermediate in some features but overall was more similar to cortical bone from the alveolar region. The principal axes of stiffness varied regionally. The regions with the greatest consistency were the alveolar area and the frontomaxillary pillar, where the grain of the cortical bone was aligned vertically from the incisors to the medial external aspect of the orbit. Elastic properties in the human maxilla, especially the orientation of the principal axes of stiffness, were more variable than in the mandible. Incorporation of these properties into finite-element models should improve their accuracy and reliability. Anat Rec Part A, 288A:962–972, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.