||CMES: Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 405-420, 2003
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||We study the mechanical behavior of a prototype osseointegrated dental implant containing a thin internal layer, designed in such a way as to simulate the existence of the periodontal ligament (PDL). Experimental stress-strain curves suggest that the behavior of the PDL can be simulated by means of a compressible hyperelastic constitutive model, at least for short-term loading. We have adopted one such a model to describe the mechanical behavior of the internal layer in the prototype implant design, studied by means of several 3--D Finite Element analyses. The results indicate that the presence of such a nonlinear internal layer is quite significant, in terms of stress redistribution, specially for all the loading/boundary conditions involving a strong static indeterminacy. It remains still difficult to assess whether the stress redistribution produced by the studied implant is beneficial in terms of bone behavior, owing to the lack of knowledge of the real mechanical fields which develop in the tooth-PDL-bone system under loading.