Purpose: The aim of the study was to present a methodology of development of a virtual 3-dimensional dental implant model for analyses via the finite element method.
Materials and Methods: A set, consisting of a dental implant and abutment, was embedded in acrylic resin for subsequent metallographic grinding and polishing. After the evidentiation of the internal geometry of the implant, the specimen was treated in a sputter for observation using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The SEM image was transported to computer-aided design software by which all details of the implant were measured. With the measures obtained, the geometry was reproduced with 3-dimensional modeling software. Finally, the model was imported into finite element method analysis software with which it was discretized, generating a mesh.
Results: A model with the accurate geometry of the implant was developed. A mesh of 297,600 elements and 490,045 nodes was generated. An aleatory acceleration simulation was performed to test the mesh, and no errors were identified.
Conclusion: The developed methodology generated a precise dental implant model, which can be applied in different finite element method simulations.