Effect of bracket slot and archwire dimensions on anterior tooth movement during space closure in sliding mechanics: a 3-dimensional finite element study

Jun-ya Tominaga, Hiroya Ozaki, Pao-Chang Chiang, Mayumi Sumi, Motohiro Tanaka, Yoshiyuki Koga, Christoph Bourauel, Noriaki Yoshida
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 2014, 146 (2): 166-74

INTRODUCTION: It has been found that controlled movement of the anterior teeth can be obtained by attaching a certain length of power arm onto an archwire in sliding mechanics. However, the impact of the archwire/bracket play on anterior tooth movement has not been clarified. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of the power arm on anterior tooth movements with different dimensions of bracket slots and archwires.

METHODS: A 3-dimensional finite element method was used to simulate en-masse anterior tooth retraction in sliding mechanics. Displacements of the maxillary central incisor and the archwire deformation were calculated when applying retraction forces from different lengths of power arms.

RESULTS: When a 0.017 × 0.022-in archwire was engaged into the 0.018-in slot bracket, bodily movement of the incisor was obtained with 9.1-mm length of the power arm. When a 0.022-in slot system was coupled with a 0.019 × 0.025-in archwire, bodily movement was observed with a power arm length of 11.6 mm.

CONCLUSIONS: Archwire/bracket play has a remarkable impact on anterior tooth movement. An effective torque application to the anterior teeth becomes clinically difficult in sliding mechanics combined with power arms when the archwire/bracket play is large.

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