Fractal analysis of the PDL-bone interface and implications for orthodontic tooth movement

Namita Wagle, Nam Do Nha, Jack Yu, James L. Borke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: The periodontal ligament (PDL) is a soft tissue interposed between the tooth and the alveolar bone. It is responsible for transmission of forces in vivo; this promotes bone remodeling. The purpose our study was to use fractal analysis to quantify the complex morphology of the PDL-bone interface. Methods: We used Scion Image (Scion Corp, Frederick, Md) and Benoit fractal analysis (Tru Soft International, St. Petersburg, Fla) programs to calculate the fractal dimension of the PDL-bone interface in rats via the box-counting method. Rats in the experimental groups received an initial force of 0.1N or 0.5N with customized springs for 6 hours. Results: Our studies showed an increase in normal fractal dimension at the root apices of the rats' maxillary molars. We also found evidence that the fractal dimension varies along the entire root length from the apex to the cementoenamel junction. Conclusions: Mechanical loading might lead to an increase in fractal dimension at the PDL-bone interface apart from mechanisms of bone cell directed remodeling. These changes in fractal dimension are proportional to loading and could provide a new parameter for force determination in orthodontic tooth movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-661
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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