Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-06 08:14:37


Biomedical Science

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2023


Biting is one of the primary physical actions against a food substrate involved in the process of mastication and consumption. Different shapes of solidified tissue (e.g., teeth, mandibles) are developed based on dietary preferences of the organism to improve mechanical function. Models of various geometric shapes were used to loosely replicate several common biological tooth structures. As there is little research conducted on tooth penetration force in relation to tooth shape, collection of such data was the main focus of the research. Molariform teeth found in herbivores were represented by the ball model, carnivorous needle-like teeth by cone model, cutting teeth by the single blade, and thick serrated denticulation of canines by the jagged model. The question of average tooth penetration force in relation to each subclade was addressed using both a bite force rig to obtain quantitative data, as well as incorporating photoelasticity to provide supporting qualitative evidence of induced stress. Four test subjects were chosen (one model representing each tooth structure) with five trials for each subject to confirm accuracy. Orientation was then altered by testing retrognathism (overbite) and prognathism (underbite) malocclusions using a top jaw ± 10% along the x and y axis from the standard 100%. Results supported the hypothesis of decreased bite force required for acute and sharp teeth. However, results contradicted initial hypothesis of increased bite force for malocclusions.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Henry Astley

First Reader

Dr. Rachel Olson

Second Reader

Dr. Robert Joel Duff

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brian Bagatto

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information


Newenhisen-Honors Project Signature Page 2023.pdf (368 kB)
correct signature page



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