Due to its significance in tooth movement, the stress/deformation field of periodontium and the alveolar bone remodeling process, periodontal ligament (PDL) cannot be excluded from the studies investigating dental biomechanics regarding its excessive deformability. Therefore, many analytical and numerical researches are carried out to simulate its response and to create a constitutive model via experiments intending to discover the material properties of PDL. The aim of this study is to formulate a user specified contact model that can be used in conjunction with finite element (FE) software and reflects PDL's influence on neighboring structures based on the currently available information, without requiring an actual volumetric finite element mesh of ligament. The results show good agreement with available experimental tooth mobility data. Smooth stress fields are obtained on the tooth root and alveolar bone, which is a significant aspect in bone-remodeling studies. The advantage of simulating PDL as a contact model at the interface of tooth root and the alveolar process instead of a solid-meshed FE model with poor geometric morphology and/or very dense mesh is expected to save pre/post-processing workforce, to increase the accuracy and to contribute to the smoothness of interface stress distributions. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.