Aim. Continuous technological innovation has provided the clinicians to access to a computerized device that can analyse the different characteristics of occlusal contacts. The purpose of this research was to use this device to study the occlusal forces comparing healthy subjects and TMD patients.
Materials and methods. The study was conducted by following specific criteria to select participants; the sample was divided into two homogeneous groups: control group (CG) comprising healthy subjects, and dysfunctional group (DG) comprising TMD patients. The occlusal force analysis was performed using the computerized system T-Scan III V 5.20 T. The data were analysed with statistical methods.
Results. The most significant differences emerged between the groups in the average occlusal load distribution and in the location of the centre of occlusal forces (COF). In particular, compared with the CG and the functional standard, reductions in the molar field forces on the second and first molars of 27% and 6.9%, respectively, were observed in the DG. The COF was located in the most forward position in TMD patients compared with healthy subjects.
Conclusions. Although the differences in the distribution of the occlusal forces and the location of the occlusal centre of gravity were significant, the relationship between occlusal contacts and TMD remains to be fully clarified. Further research is needed to investigate whether studying occlusal force distributions in both healthy subjects and TMD patients.