An automatic approach to establish clinically desired final dental occlusion for one-piece maxillary orthognathic surgery

Han Deng, Peng Yuan, Sonny Wong, Jaime Gateno, Fred A. Garrett, Randy K. Ellis, Jeryl D. English, Helder B. Jacob, Daeseung Kim, Joshua C. Barber, William Chen, James J. Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: One critical step in routine orthognathic surgery is to reestablish a desired final dental occlusion. Traditionally, the final occlusion is established by hand articulating stone dental models. To date, there are still no effective solutions to establish the final occlusion in computer-aided surgical simulation. In this study, we consider the most common one-piece maxillary orthognathic surgery and propose a three-stage approach to digitally and automatically establish the desired final dental occlusion. Methods: The process includes three stages: (1) extraction of points of interest and teeth landmarks from a pair of upper and lower dental models; (2) establishment of Midline-Canine-Molar (M-C-M) relationship following the clinical criteria on these three regions; and (3) fine alignment of upper and lower teeth with maximum contacts without breaking the established M-C-M relationship. Our method has been quantitatively and qualitatively validated using 18 pairs of dental models. Results: Qualitatively, experienced orthodontists assess the algorithm-articulated and hand-articulated occlusions while being blind to the methods used. They agreed that occlusion results of the two methods are equally good. Quantitatively, we measure and compare the distances between selected landmarks on upper and lower teeth for both algorithm-articulated and hand-articulated occlusions. The results showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the algorithm-articulated and hand-articulated occlusions. Conclusion: The proposed three-stage automatic dental articulation method is able to articulate the digital dental model to the clinically desired final occlusion accurately and efficiently. It allows doctors to completely eliminate the use of stone dental models in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1763-1773
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number11
Early online dateFeb 25 2020
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Computer-aided surgical simulation
  • Digital dental occlusion
  • Feature extraction
  • Orthognathic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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