An interactive three-dimensional finite element generation method is presented for modelling a multi-connected teeth and mandible structure. The tetrahedron is chosen as the basic element type due to its rigorous adaptability to structures with geometric complexities. The mesh generation is implemented by allocating two quadrangles in adjacent CT image slices to form a set of tetrahedrons. By examining all the possible allocations and their degradations, an algorithm is developed for interactive mesh generation, resulting in a series of tetrahedrons consistent with all the others without overlapping and spacing. The developed system was applied to a tooth-mandibular structure, generating a complicated 3D FEM model consisting of 4762 nodes and 18,534 tetrahedral elements with nine different materials. This 3D model was successfully used to evaluate different tooth restoration strategies, which proved the viability and effectiveness of the proposed method.
Gao, J., Xu, W., & Ding, Z. (2006). 3D Finite Element Mesh Generation of Complicated Tooth Model Based on CT Slices. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 82(2), 97-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmpb.2006.02.008