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Design of a Pressure Sensor to Monitor Teeth Grinding

I.M. Abdel-Motaleb[1], K. Ravanasa[1], K.J. Soderholm[2]
[1]Department of Electrical Engineering, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA
[2]Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL USA

Studying teeth grinding behavior and other oral conditions requires the ability to accurately measure the pressure on the teeth. Placing a sensor in the mouth requires small size devices with powering and measurement techniques that do not hinder the normal life of the patient. To meet these requirements, we designed, using COMSOL, a small, easy to read MEMS capacitive force sensor, with adjustable dynamic range and high sensitivity. The sensor is a capacitive sensor and can be read using commercial RFID tag. A small RFID tag, with 3 mm antenna coil, is integrated with the sensor. The sensor is then implanted inside a pontic or a crown. If a force is applied on the reconstructed tooth (the sensor), a related change in the sensor’s capacitance takes place. Since the sensor’s capacitance is added in parallel to the tag’s original capacitor, the change in the tag’s capacitor results in changing the resonance capacitance of the tag. This can be related to the applied force. Using digital signal processing techniques, the tag’s readings can be measured with high accuracy.