The purpose of this study was to develop a new finite element method for simulating long-term tooth movements and to compare the movement process occurring in canine retraction using a T-loop spring having large bends and with that having small bends.Orthodontic tooth movement was assumed to occur in the same manner as the initial tooth movement, which was controlled by the moment-to-force (M/F) ratios acting on the tooth. The M/F ratios were calculated as the reaction forces from the spring ends. For these M/F ratios, the teeth were moved based on the initial tooth movements, which were calculated by using the bilinear elastic model of the periodontal ligament. Repeating these calculations, the teeth were moved step by step while updating the M/F ratio.In the spring with large bends, the canine at first moved bodily, followed by root distal tipping. The bodily movement was quickly achieved, but over a short distance. In the spring with small bends, the canine at first rotated and root mesial tipping occurred, subsequently the canine uprighted and the rotation decreased. After a long time elapsed, the canine moved bodily over a long distance.It was found that the long-term tooth movement produced by the T-loop springs could be simulated by the method proposed in this study. The force system acting on the teeth and the movement type remarkably changed during the long-term tooth movement. The spring with large bends could move the canine bodily faster than that with small bends.
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