Objective: The purpose of this study was to observe stress distribution and displacement patterns of the entire maxillary arch with regard to distalizing force vectors applied from interdental miniscrews. Methods: A standard three-dimensional finite element model was constructed to simulate the maxillary teeth, periodontal ligament, and alveolar process. The displacement of each tooth was calculated on x, y, and z axes, and the von Mises stress distribution was visualized using color-coded scales. Results: A single distalizing force at the archwire level induced lingual inclination of the anterior segment, and slight intrusive distal tipping of the posterior segment. In contrast, force at the high level of the retraction hook resulted in lingual root movement of the anterior segment, and extrusive distal translation of the posterior segment. As the force application point was located posteriorly along the archwire, the likelihood of extrusive lingual inclination of the anterior segment increased, and the vertical component of the force led to intrusion and buccal tipping of the posterior segment. Rotation of the occlusal plane was dependent on the relationship between the line of force and the possible center of resistance of the entire arch. Conclusions: Displacement of the entire arch may be dictated by a direct relationship between the center of resistance of the whole arch and the line of action generated between the miniscrews and force application points at the archwire, which makes the total arch movement highly predictable.
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