This study was designed to investigate the biomechanical behavior of the periodontium including the periodontal ligament (PDL) in terms of tooth mobility. Tooth mobility was measured in the canines of 10 adolescent patients before and after distal movement. Distal movement of the canines was carried out by use of a calibrated sectional archwire exerting an initial retraction force of 200 g. Tooth mobility was measured immediately before and after canine retraction by use of a noncontact displacement sensor when varying distal forces of 0 to 500 g were applied to the mesial of the canine. Before tooth movement, tooth mobility exhibited a substantial increase in loading with forces ranging from 50 to 150 g. The rate of increase gradually decreased up to 500 g. A nonlinear change in tooth mobility was similarly observed at the end of tooth movement or 24 days after the initiation of movement. Tooth mobility, however, was significantly greater when forces above 200 g were loaded. The periodontal tissues—the PDL and alveolar bone in particular—become more flexible at the end of tooth movement, indicating reduced support by the periodontal tissues. These findings suggest that the elastic nature of the PDL and alveolar bone may decrease substantially at the end of tooth movement.
Dr. Tanne is professor and chairman in the Department of Orthodontics, Hiroshima University School of Dentistry
Dr. Inoue is in private practice and previously research associate in the Department of Orthodontics, Osaka University Faculty of Dentistry
Dr. Sakuda is professor and chairman in the Department of Orthodontics, Osaka University Faculty of Dentistry