Analytical methodology to measure periodontal bone morphometry following orthodontic tooth movement in mice

Omer Fleissig*, Hagai Hazan-Molina, Stella Chaushu, Dror Aizenbud, Yehuda Klein, Avraham Zini, Yankel Gabet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Basic research in orthodontics is commonly conducted in rodents. However, experimental studies on orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) lack a standard method to examine OTM and periodontal changes. This study describes a unifying protocol for the analysis of OTM and associated bone microarchitectural changes in mice using microcomputed tomography (μCT). Methods: Mice (10 animals/group) were divided into control and OTM groups. OTM was generated by anchoring a nickel-titanium closed-coil spring to the upper incisors to pull the upper left first molar. A third group of TNFα -/- mice was added since these are known to have slower OTM. Using μCT, we implemented and tested a number of methods to measure OTM distance and examine 3D bone morphometric parameters associated with OTM in mice. Results: In total, we tested five methods to measure the OTM distance in mice. The results indicated that measuring the intermolar diastema, and assessing tooth movement relative to the anterior root of the zygomatic arch, displayed the lowest standard deviation and enabled optimal detection of intergroup differences. We also developed two protocols for μCT analysis of the periradicular bone that yielded no false-positive results. Our results revealed that including the width of the periodontal ligament rather than excluding it from the region of interest in mice detected more statistically significant differences in the morphometric parameters between the OTM and control sides and between WT and TNFα -/- mice despite more subtle differences. Conclusions: We, therefore, propose new guidelines for a standardized μCT-based method to analyse OTM and the extent of the periradicular bone structural changes in mice.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)665-671
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Orthodontics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Orthodontic Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


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