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Equilibrium situations in bend force systems

Christian Demange, DCD, SQODF, CECSMO*
Lyon, France

This article provides a simple theoretical approach to the equilibrium situations encountered in
biomechanics. Basic differences between the moment of a force and the moment of a couple are
described. The concept of the center of resistance is defined and applied to the case of a force
system (R,). Three equilibrium situations are schematically described: the off-center V bend, the
centered V bend, and the step bend. Two clinical examples are detailed (one from the Begg
technique and one from the Ricketts technique) to demonstrate clinical applications of force in these
three situations. (AM J ORTHODDENTOFACORTHOP1990;98:333-9.)

O r t h o d o n t i c literature contains numerous ar- a movement or pure translation. It must be noted that,
ticles on biomechanics in general and on equilibrium for a given tooth, this movement may be mesiodistal
situations in particular. ~7 But, however excellent these or vestibulolingual, intrusive or extrusive.
publications may be, comprehending them is sometimes Because a tooth is a restrained body, the center of
difficult. Furthermore, the theoretical models they pre- resistance may be compared to the center of gravity, or
sent are often inapplicable in everyday clinical practice. the barycenter, of a free body. The position of the center
The present article aims to provide a simple explanation of resistance is directly dependent on what may be
of these equilibrium situations that will enable the prac- called the "clinical root" of the tooth. This concept takes
titioner to recognize them more easily and thus achieve into account the root volume, including the periodontal
a more precise adjustment of the force system for op- bone-a definition that is close to that given by Burstone
timal therapeutic effect. and Pryputniewicz8 of the position of the center of re-
sistance. These authors define the position of the center
ELEMENTARY BIOMECHANICS of resistance according to the distance between the al-
Force veolar crest and the apex, incrementing this value with
A given force may be represented by a vector, which the thickness (i.e., the surface) of the root. 9
is characterized by direction. This direction, in turn, is The position of the center of resistance is also a
characterized by a sense (indicated by the head of the function of the nature of the periodontal structures, ~°-~3
arrow) and by a line of action. The location of the point and the density of the alveolar bone and the elasticity
of application on the line of action has no influence on of the desmodontal structures are strongly related to the
the type of movement obtained; the only thing that patient's age.ta These considerations have led Valet and
counts is the relationship of the line of action to the Pagin ~ to speak of the "center of resistance associated
center of resistance. The magnitude of the force is pro- with the tooth," rather than of "the center of resistance
portional to the length of the vector. In orthodontic of the tooth."
biomechanics it is also important to consider duration
and rhythm in applications of force, although these Moment and couple
two factors do not participate directly in basic biome- A force for which the line of action does not pass
chanics. through the center of resistance produces a moment of
force (M) on the center of resistance. The magnitude
Center of resistance of this moment is equal to the magnitude of the force
The center of resistance of a force is defined by its multiplied by the perpendicular distance of the line of
relationship to the force: a force for which the line of action of the force with respect to the center of resis-
action passes through the center of resistance produces tance. The moment exists only insofar as the force is
delivered on the center of resistance.
*Assistant ~ la facult6 d'Odontologie de Lyon. Conversely, the moment of a couple is a free system
811116190 that produces an identical effect on the center of resis-


1. a.f o r example. at a specific distance (2d) from each other (d = the the magnitudes of force and the moments they produce distance between the center of resistance of the system vary with the position of the R. If the two off-center V. the center of resistance the centered V bend. 6":6't7 THREE BRACKET-WIRE Fig. Orthod. thus causing an the centers of resistance of the two teeth. Orthop. a two forces are produced at the mesial resistance of the system will be located halfway be. October 1990 d lb. we must define the center (Fig. and (c) the anchorage value (Fig.. b. a molar and an incisor. R~ = R2. translation occurs. combined effects of rototranslation may occur. If the center of rotation is a long distance from the tooth. (b) anchorage values are different. Its position relative to the center of resistance determines the type of movement obtained.. EQUILIBRIUM SITUATIONS Three bracket-wire conditions will be examined here: (a) the off-centered V bend. and distal ends of each bracket: F2 and F'2 for T2. Off-center V bend: general case.T treme situations. The graphic determination of the center of rotation is fairly simple 6 and its distance from the center of resistance may be determined by use of the moment/force ratio. Between these two ex- G . The moment of this couple is equal to the magnitude of one of the forces multiplied by the perpendicular distance between the two lines of action. If the the bend is off-center (as in the Begg anchor bend). step bend. R~ > Rz tance (pure rotation). TI and T2 examining each case in detail.q l el .334 Demange Am.. as we will see. 2) with the same anchorage value that we located of resistance for each system (R. Fig. Dentofac. regardless of the position of the couple on the tooth. c~ ~ > " ~ c2 -- action and opposite senses. If the center of ro.. Before Let us consider the case of two teeth.. These situations may be represented by two dental The off-center V bend u n i t s . with parallel but noncolinear lines of -. The center of resistance and T~ or 1"2). 2. which exists when the arch has a of the system will be closer to the tooth with the highest V bend midway between the two brackets. Let us introduce into the bracket of each of a system is located somewhere along the line between tooth a wire with an off-center bend. the center of In Fig.. 2.~1. and . J. 1). Center of rotation The center of rotation depends exclusively on the .) since. which exists when tween the centers of resistance of the two teeth. A couple consists of two forces of equal magnitude. teeth have the same anchorage value. ix tation and the center of resistance are identical. then the movement is pure rotation. ~ M system of forces applied.

.6. since there = 2dX is a simultaneous increase in the anchorage value. a downward vertical force and a clockwise moment that is weaker than the one acting on T~. to those of X and Y. M. if the system is at equilibrium. Furthermore. . e . the forces obtained by resolving M 2 a = ~X into its components and acting on T~ and Tz will be different because of the off-center position of the Rs'.. d 3d (4X . and of equal magnitude. couple C. with R. Off-center V bend with displacement of the center of vertical force and a counterclockwise moment. In R. cl modification. % . moves to an off-center position because the anchorage values of the two teeth differ. the net effect of all the forces and moments of the system is nil in any spot of the system. -. In summary (Fig. To sim- plify. then the two vertical forces have a value of a = % X a n d b = 3X.- angle between the wire and the bracket is wider on the T~ side." at distance % from T~ and 5% The two moments are equal. 3d d It must be emphasized that the increase in magni- -~-a + ~b = 2dX tude of the force acting on T~ does not necessarily lead 3da + db clinically to a stronger extrusion of the tooth. . c). 2. b = 4X. T1 1"2 allel.2 . we will consider the center of resistance of the system R. we may de.) at a distance % from T~ (Fig. of opposite sense.--. This is a classic representation of an off-center V b e n d . opposite to C~..3a)~ = -~-a with a center of resistance (R. s duce a moment. and X-Y. According to the laws of Newton. the vertical force b = 2X (b) produced on T~ is greater than the vertical force (a) produced on T2. may be placed in R.3a Let us consider the same force system as above.. 3. The system is then at equilibrium. we must intro. 2. If the center of resistance of the system moves to- ward T~ because of an increase in the anchorage value of the tooth. 2. To obtain a nil net effect. from Tz. e)..~=) 2dX The centered V bend 2 This situation represents a particular case of V bends 3a + b = 4X in which the apex of the V bend is centered between b = 4X . The moments. On each tooth. thus forming a couple (Fig. X and Y (Fig. then the mag- b•d2= nitudes of the vertical forces will vary. we C2 Cl • must resolve M into two forces. 2. d). termine the magnitudes of the forces a and b according while the vertical force acting on T2 is reduced by 2. 2 d(3a + b__. . 2. J'). will be stronger than couple C:. if b = 4X .'. since the . (Fig. a bend Furthermore: with two opposite moments of different magnitudes and two opposite forces of identical magnitude.. without any b -. 3(%X) According to the laws of leverage.Volume 98 Bend force systems 335 Number 4 F~ and F'~ for T~.3a the two brackets. However.3a = 3a nil and the reactional moment (M) has the same ori- 4X=6a entation and magnitude as in the example shown in Fig. and on resistance of the system: a = %X. To vi- sualize the effects produced by M on T~ and T2. 3). b). acting respectively on T~ and T:. the sum of the moments must be 4X . By a simple calculation. these forces are par._. 3d If R. b = 2X. acting on Tt are an upward Fig. the magnitude of which is equal to the difference between C~ and Cz (Fig. C~ and C2 pro- duced by the couples. We see that the vertical force acting on T~ doubles. 2.i . "1"2.

the same. the reactions that occur. contrary to what is observed in the off-center V model. add up in the step bend. This is the classic relative angle between the brackets and the wire. Am. This moment can be resolved at the level of T~ and T2 To optimize the force system that is produced. b). the distance between the center of resistance of the system and T~ and T2 has no influence on the reactions pro- Fig. are of equal there are the same consequences on the magnitudes of magnitude and identical sense (counterclockwise for the vertical forces as those described in the off-center both C~ and C~). J. Indeed. duced. . as does Fig. the two moments cancel each other and there is no resulting vertical force. 4. system. The step bend in an off-center V bend. At R. relative angle is a function of three parameters: the bend It is easy to understand that the forces generated in of the wire. 5. _ cl ~ c= _- '. for a given angle be- In this situation. angles between each of the brackets and the wire are If the position of the center of resistance changes. the wire has two bends (Fig. 5.½2' Fig. Centered V bend: general case. and the distance this type of situation are stronger than those generated between the brackets. d). 4 shows. It must be noted that in this force system. C1 Both TI and "1"2are submitted to two vertical forces and C2. with In the off-center V bend. the two couples. Fig. since the angle between the bracket and the wire is the same on the left side and on the right side. the two moments. the width of the brackets. 5. If the reactional moment. tween the wire and the brackets. yielding a stronger (Fig. 5).. 336 Demange October 1990 T1 "12 . Because the apex of the bend is centered. a) that produce couples (Fig. :3c . Orthod. There will always be a counterclockwise rotation of T~ and a clockwise rotation of T2. 5. the magnitude of the mo- two moments of identical orientation and magnitude ment and of the resulting vertical force varies with the and two opposite vertical forces. the d Cl~>'~ C2 moments CI and C2 produced on each tooth are of equal but opposite magnitude. X and Y helpful to be able to predict variations in the magnitudes (Fig. e shows the final result on T~ and T2. 2. 5. At the center of resistance of the V bend. of forces and moments. 5. This representation of a step bend. as well as stronger vertical forces. it is into two equal and opposite vertical forces. for the same reasons. producing CLINICAL APPLICATIONS a reactional moment (M) (Fig. Orthop. Dentofac. c) of clockwise ori- Variations in magnitudes of forces and moments entation and a magnitude twice that of C1 (or of C2). C~ and C2. the moments of the couples add up. Fig. Step bend: general case.

If the bend of the wire is no longer At the center of resistance of the system. b In the step bend. the two clinical examples presented will be considered as having their centers of resistance halfway between the two dental units. 6. and C2. be resolved into two opposite vertical forces of equal . 3. a). two vertical forces of equal In the centered V bend situation. reducing the distance This example is a simple illustration of the off- between the brackets causes an increase in the angle center V bend. corresponding to a couple C1 (Fig. When duced. as shown in Fig. M (Fig. the three factors magnitude and opposite orientation are produced on T. just described act identically on the magnitude of the (Fig. this couple centered. the angle between the wire and the brackets is the only factor that determines the mag- nitude of the forces and the moments. as in the Begg technique. the stronger the (by taking into account the two canines with the inci- couples C. which may bend. the more intense the reactional mo. for example). b). the center of resistance will be displaced toward Fig. In this case. increase in magnitude of the forces and moments pro. Conversely. This has been demonstrated experimen- tally by Burstone and Koenig. The problem is that the exact location of the center sition. sors. the system is put into place. Ingression archwire in Begg technique. Fig. Transverse movement in Begg technique. The bend of vertical force on the molars will decrease.Volume 98 Bend force systems 337 Number 4 T1 T2 V a b Fig. contrary to the height of the step. which bears a tube. the m mesiodistal position of the step does not modify the C • C1 ~ i ]M • force system. the second molars are taken into ac- count). The distance between the brackets acts in a similar Ingression archwire in the Begg technique manner. which is therefore a factor acting on the force of resistance of a system consisting of multiple dental system. c). and the incisor. the total amount of root surface area is identical in the incisor area and in the molar area. although The use of wider brackets produces the same effects the location determines the magnitude of the forces. the molar. c • Clinical examples To simplify the above explanation. 6 shows a lower incisor ingression between the wire and the brackets and a corresponding archwire between the first molar. for example. 7. 6. It is simple to understand that. two moments. 7 units is not easy to determine in the clinic. 6. then the situation is that of an off-center V causes a reactional moment. the wire is also directly related to its mesiodistal po. which has a unipoint bracket. thereby increasing the magnitude of the re- actional vertical force. For a given bend of wire. and the stronger the vertical force. 7 It must be noted that an off-center V bend may be transformed into a step bend by a permanent defor- mation of the wire. by definition. as those produced by wider bend of wire. if the anchorage value of the anterior unit is increased The wider the bend of the wire. 6. If the molar anchorage value increases (if. then the ment.

1') is placed into the incisor bracket. e). reactional moment M' (Fig. ment C2 causing an increase in the magnitude of the gually. h). tends to tip On the molar. This increase. this egressive force produces a uation then becomes that of a step bend. Am. m2. The wider the initial angle between the tooth and the bracket of '1"2(Figs. tion (Fig. At R~. J. Orthod. . in the (Fig. this tipping may be pre. 8. On the incisor. Basic archwire in Ricketts technfque. a force does not produce a moment at the center of re. incisor. thereby producing a moment m2. 8. e) in which a moment. the increase of F2 displacement of the center of resistance toward the too. 8. V bend is off center. since it passes through it. F~ and F2. there moments produced locally. with consequences on the magnitudes of the sistance of each of these forces (Fig.d ) . a . g). turn. 8. Orthop. However. a and F2 (Fig. are the vertical force and the couple C~ (free system). In the Begg technique. Dentofac. in vented by an extensive widening of the archwire. the which leads to a coronal labioversion of the lower in. 8. magnitude. lar will lead to an increase of the egressive force on To determine the reactions that occur at the level of this tooth and a decrease of the ingressive force on the each tooth. At R2. 6. d). 7). 338 Demange October 1990 T~ T2 b • • • I- C • Cl ~ i ~M • g c • 1:2 C • m2 C2 Fig. 6. acting on T~ and "I"2(Fig. and in the sagittal plane. with the wire placed passively in cisor. causes an increase in magnitude of the forces F~ As in the general case of the off-center V bend. with the mo- moment that tends to tip the crown of the molar lin. the vertical the incisors labially. the ingressive force does not pass through the Basic archwire in the Ricketts technique center of resistance. it is necessary to consider the center of re. This leads to a situa- the occlusal plane. The sit- frontal plane (Fig. In the basic archwire of the Ricketts technique. represented by the couple C2 sistance. The increase . produces an increase of the moment m2. coronolingual torque. 8. the stronger this moment will be. To control this side effect.

8. Hocevar RA. Use of a computer model to study the force dis- In this article we have tried to describe equilibrium tribution on the root of the maxillary central incisor.80:457-77. 412-16. Koenig HA. Koenig HA. movement: orthodontic force system theory. 1986. A II. Common sense mechanics. situations as clearly and schematically as possible.59:581-8. King G.17:106-21. Pagin J. Rt=FERENCE$ 16. Mohammed A. J Clin Orthod 17. tered often helps to explain the side effects observed 13.94:426-31. Bridges T. 1977. Can clinically.81:1-11. nomena involved in dental movement. AM J the effect for which the torque was inserted (Fig. However. and managing tooth 1988. AM mechanics of tooth movement. Mechanics of tooth movement. Burstone CJ. Lo- of resistance of the system.231A:435-77. AM J ORTtIOD 1981 . of archwire precisely. Burstone CJ.4:23-7. AM J ORTHODDENTOFACORTttOP J ORTHOD 1974. 7. ORa'HOD 1984. thereby countering 6. Smith RJ. traction using the laser reflection technique. Sachdeva RCL. 14. 481-88. ysis of this manuscript and Dr. Burstone CJ. CONCLUSION 10. Houston WJB. Force systems from an ideal arch.14:265-72. i).13:676-83.93:245-50. The effect of age on tooth I thank Dr. AM J ORTHOD complicated by the non-median position of the center 1980.77:396-409. Ar. considered as a problem ough knowledge of the schematic situations encoun. Mulligan TF. Hay GE. The center of resistance.82:164-6. J Res 1939. Holographic determination ofcen- The control of this type of force system is further ters of rotation produced by orthodontic forces. Dermaut LR. 15. Bulke MMV. Davidian El. AM J ORTHOD DENIOFAC ORTHOP 3. Burstone CJ. Tanne K. AM J ORTHODDEN- TOFACORTHOP 1987. Burstone CJ. Orthodontic force systems: technical refinements Dr. Philos Trans R Soc Lond 1933.91:375-84. AM J ORTtIOD 1982.65:270-89. Center of rotation of totally direct application to the clinical setting is not a maxillary central incisor under orthodontic loading. the center of rotation. Charles Dumontet for his help AM J ORTtIOD DENTOFACORTHOP 1988. Understanding.Volume 98 Bend force systems 339 Number 4 o f m 2 tends to labialize the incisor. Pryputniewicz. with the English translation. planning. Christian Demange for increased efficiency. AM J OR'I'HODDENTOFACORTHOP explains the difficulty involved in adjusting this type 1988. 8. Hocevar RA. Wright KWJ. Annie Brunner-Labarge for her critical anal- movement and mineral density in the alveolar tissues of the rat. Koenig HA. Moment to force ratios and 1979.85:294-307. which leads to variations cation of the centers of resistance for anterior teeth during re- in the forces. Burstone CJ. 9. Yettram AL. France . Analysis of moment/force ratios in the 1. 189 rue Garibaldi 5. 1980. a thor. Reprint requests to: 4. Kusy RP. Valet R. Nikolai ILl. The equilibrium of a thin compressible membrane. The tightness of the teeth. Br J Orthod possible because of the complexity of the biologic phe. Creative wire bending--the force The antagonism between the moments m2 and C2 partly system from step and V bends. 336-42.21:115-29. concerning the equilibrium of a thin incompressible elastic mem- brane. Synge JL.i J OR'I'HOD 1982. 2. AM J OR- ~XOD 1971. Analytical mechanics and analysis of orthodontic 69428 Lyon Cedex 03 tooth movements. Tulloch JFC. 12.90:127-31. Rev Orthop Dento- Faciale 1987.93:59-67.