Frictional resistance between orthodontic brackets and archwire: an in vitro study

Nadeem Husain, Avinash Kumar
Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice 2011, 12 (2): 91-9

AIM: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the kinetic frictional resistance offered by stainless steel and Titanium bracket used in combination with rectangular stainless steel wire during in vitro translatory displacement of brackets.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study. Brackets: (All brackets used had a torque of - 7° and an angulation of 0°): (1) Dynalock (Unitek) 0.018'' slot, 3.3 mm bracket width, (2) Mini Uni-Twin (Unitek) 0.018'' slot, 1.6 mm bracket width, (3) Ultra-Minitrim (Dentaurum) 0.022'' slot 3.3 mm bracket width, (4) Titanium (Dentaurum) 0.022'' slot, 3.3 mm bracket width. WIRES: (1) 0.016 x 0.022'' stainless steel (Dentaurum), (2) 0.017 x 0.025''stainless steel (Unitek), (3) 0.018 x 0.025'' stainless steel (Dentaurum), elastomeric modules (Ortho Organisers), 0. 009'' stainless steel ligature wires, hooks made of 0.021 x 0.025'' stainless steel wires, super glue to bond the hooks to the base of the bracket, acetone to condition the bracket and wires before testing and artificial saliva. Brackets were moved along the wire by means of an Instron universal testing machine (1101) and forces were measured by a load cell. All values were recorded in Newtons and then converted into gms (1N-102 gm). 200 gm was then subtracted from these values to find out the frictional force for each archwire/bracket combination. For each archwire/ bracket combination three readings were taken under wet and dry condition and also with stainless steel ligature and elastomeric modules separately.

RESULTS: The results showed that narrow brackets generated more friction than wider brackets. Frictional force was directly proportional to wire dimension. Titanium brackets generated more friction than stainless steel brackets. Archwire and bracket ligated with elastomeric module generated more friction than when ligated with stainless steel ligature wire. Frictional forces in the wet condition were greater than in the dry condition for all archwire to bracket combinations.

CONCLUSION: Frictional force was seen to be inversely proportional to bracket width, frictional force was inversely proportional to bracket width, and in the wet condition were greater than in the dry condition for all archwire to bracket combinations.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This study of friction is its role in lessening the force actually received by a tooth from an active component such as a spring, loop or elastic. Hence greater applied force is needed to move a tooth with a bracket archwire combination demonstrating high magnitudes of friction compared with one with a low frictional value.

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