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Effects of mechanical stress and growth on the velocity of tooth movement

  • Jeffrey C. Nickel
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Jeffrey C. Nickel, UMKC School of Dentistry, 650 E 25th St, Kansas City, MO 64108.
    Affiliations
    Associate professor, Departments of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics and Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Mo
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  • Honzeng Liu
    Affiliations
    Postdoctoral fellow, Departments of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics and Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Mo
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  • David B. Marx
    Affiliations
    Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb
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  • Laura R. Iwasaki
    Affiliations
    Associate professor, Leo Rogers Chair of the Department of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics; joint appointment, Department of Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Mo
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      Introduction

      In this study, we investigated the effects of the magnitudes of applied stress and growth status on the speed of tooth movement.

      Methods

      Eighty-two maxillary canines in 41 subjects were retracted for 84 days by estimated stresses of 4, 13, 26, 52, or 78 kPa applied continuously via segmental mechanics. Dental impressions made at intervals of 1 to 14 days resulted in 9 or 10 dental casts per subject. Three-dimensional tooth movements were quantified using these casts, custom reference templates, and a measuring microscope. Serial height and cephalometric measurements determined growth status.

      Results

      Distal tooth movement was linear with no lag phase in 96% of the teeth. Speeds averaged 0.028, 0.040, 0.050, 0.054, and 0.061 mm per day (standard errors, ± 0.004) for 4, 13, 26, 52, and 78 kPa, respectively. The maximum difference in speed between teeth was 9:1. Teeth moved significantly faster (P <0.0001) in growing compared with nongrowing subjects, on average by 1.6-fold. Stress and speed of tooth movement were logarithmically related in growing (R2 = 0.47) and nongrowing (R2 = 0.34) subjects. Other tooth movements were relatively small, except for the distopalatal rotation of teeth moved by 78 kPa that averaged more than 19°.

      Conclusions

      The speed of retraction was logarithmically related to the applied stress and was significantly faster in actively growing subjects compared with those who were not growing.
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