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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2005 Jun;127(6):662-9.

Effect of fluoride prophylactic agents on the mechanical properties of nickel-titanium-based orthodontic wires.

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Departments of Restorative Dentistry and Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 650 E. 25th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108-2784.



Titanium-based alloys have high corrosion resistance because they form a thin, stable oxide layer. Nevertheless, fluoride prophylactic agents can cause corrosion and associated discoloration of titanium-based orthodontic wires. The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of fluoride prophylactic agents on the mechanical properties of nickel-titanium (Ni-Ti) and copper-nickel-titanium (Cu-Ni-Ti) orthodontic archwires.


Preformed rectangular Ni-Ti and Cu-Ni-Ti wires were immersed in either an acidulated fluoride agent, a neutral fluoride agent, or distilled water (control) for 1.5 hours at 37 degrees C. After immersion, the loading and unloading elastic modulus and yield strength of the wires were measured with a 3-point bend test in a water bath at 37 degrees C, in accordance with the criteria in the current American National Standard/American Dental Association Specification No. 32 for Orthodontic Wires (2000). Scanning electron microscopy was also used to characterize the effects of the fluoride treatment on the wire topography.


Unloading mechanical properties of Ni-Ti orthodontic wires were significantly decreased after exposure to both fluoride agents (1-way analysis of variance [ANOVA] and Dunnett's post hoc, alpha =.05); however, Cu-Ni-Ti wire mechanical properties were not significantly affected by either fluoride agent (1-way ANOVA, alpha =.05). Corrosive changes in surface topography were observed for both wires, with Cu-Ni-Ti appearing to be more severely affected.


The results suggest that using topical fluoride agents with Ni-Ti wire could decrease the functional unloading mechanical properties of the wire and contribute to prolonged orthodontic treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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