Background/Purpose: As a soft connective tissue, the Periodontal Ligament (PDL) exhibits material properties which are not the same at different levels. Study concerning the mechanical properties of human PDL was not reported in nanoindentation method with a flat punch.
Materials and Methods: A quantitative and a qualitative analysis for cervical margin, midroot and apex were made. According to the Oliver-Pharr theory, the mean value of the elastic modulus was calculated for each level. A generalized Kelvin model was used to fit the experimental load-displacement curve of the loading part at different levels, the model parameters were obtained by least-square method. The difference of stress distribution of the PDL for linear and viscoelastic model was compared with finite element method.
Result: In midroot section, the average elastic modulus ranges from 0.11 to 0.23 MPa, the range of the cervical margin and apex changed from 0.21 to 0.53 MPa, and 0.44 to 0.62 MPa, respectively. Apex section shows a higher creep compliance than that on the other two sections.
Conclusion: Experimental results indicate that average elastic modulus in midroot was lower than that at the cervical margin and the apex. The results derived with generalized Kelvin model agrees well with the test data, the stress in the PDL derived with viscoelastic model is lower than that with elastic model.