Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology

Mission & Overview


The mission of the center is to improve clinical dentistry with state-of-the-art engineering tools. The area of research include:

  • Orthodontic appliance design and evaluation
  • Orthodontic tooth displacement
  • Dental implant


The goals are to improve orthodontic treatment using an evidence-based approach and to develop optimal orthodontic appliances for specific clinical cases. The fundamental need is the ability to quantify treatment strategies and clinical outcomes so that the two can be linked directly. These will help move dental practice from experience- to evidence-based. The research will focus on:

  • creating digital dental models from traditional clinical assessment tools, such as dental impressions and CT images, which can be used for various dental disciplines
  • quantification of treatment strategies such as three dimensional (3D) orthodontic force system
  • development of simulation tools to investigate the dentoalveolar mechanical environment that is associated with various treatment strategies such as orthodontic treatment or dental implants
  • development of simulation tools to quantify required force systems for desired tooth movement
  • quantification of treatment outcomes such as 3D tooth displacements, root resorption, and esthetic effects
  • development of case specific dental appliances to optimize treatment
  • development of visual tools for treatment planning, communication with patients, and outcome assessment using advanced engineering tools such as visual reality technology

With the use of the novel technologies that quantify force systems and the concomitant tooth displacements, research will be focused on the study of the mechanical and biological influences of various treatment strategies and the resulting biological responses. New appliances will be designed and clinically validated. These activities will demonstrate the benefits of evidence-based orthodontics. The technologies can be applied to other clinical cases. Development will continue to explore more applications of the digital model technologies because dental models are the primary means for diagnosis and treatment in other disciplines such as prosthodontics and oral surgery. Our facilities will allow us to create digital dental models, manipulate the models the way clinician do, make necessary measurements, and store the information electronically. The lab provides service to the dental community.