Occlusal load, contact sequence and location are necessary parameters for the study of dental biomechanics, simulation and clinical treatment planning. A piezoelectric film transducer for dental occlusal analysis was developed and in vitro evaluations of thetransducer were conducted in a servohydraulically driven artificial mouth. The transducer is designed to provide occlusal contact force information. The transducer thickness (9 μm) minimizes interference with normal mandibular closure. Voltage outputs from the sensor as a result of occlusal contacts generated in the artificial mouth were sampled through a computer controlled data acquisition system. The transducer output recorded by the data acquisition system was calibrated to the applied load in the artificial mouth. The output of the piezoelectric film was evaluated during varying loads, cycling frequencies, areas of contact, and transducer surface areas. The preliminary studies indicate that the piezoelectric film holds out considerable promise and with further development may be well suited as a diagnostic tool in dental occlusal analysis.
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