Finite element analysis

Finite element analysis, or FEA, is a computer software method used to study stresses and strains on various mechanical parts or components. The term finite element analysis can also refer to a virtual prototyping software, often a component of computer-aided design software programs, which automatically generates the simulated mechanical loads for FEA. In dentistry, finite element analysis has been used to study the mechanical stresses of dental implants as well as the strain on surrounding bone. It has also been applied to studying the strain and stability of the structures and materials used to create dental implants and prostheses. FEA allows practitioners and analysists to create countless simulations which show the stresses present during mastication in both the bone and the implant. The overall distribution of these stresses can also be analyzed to determine if one part of the oral anatomy experiences more strain than another. The data collected can be used to create more durable implants.