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Eur J Orthod. 1998 Jun;20(3):283-91.

Frictional forces related to self-ligating brackets.

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School of Orthodontics, University of Milano, Italy.


Orthodontic tooth movement can be regarded as teeth sliding on a wire like pearls on a string, the force being supplied by springs or elastics. The movement implies friction between wire and bracket, taking up part of the force and leaving an uncontrolled amount to act on the teeth. The friction is likely to depend on bracket construction and wire material. Therefore, in this investigation the friction of self-ligating brackets and beta-titanium wires was evaluated, as opposed to more conventional configurations. Carried by low-friction linear ball bearings, a bracket was made to slide along an out-stretched archwire with minimal (and known) basic friction, either parallel or at an angle to the wire. Two self-ligating brackets were used in their closed position without any normal force. Friction was tested against four wires: stainless steel and beta-titanium, both in round and rectangular cross-sections. The force used to overcome friction and to move the bracket was measured on a testing machine at 10 mm/min, and the basic friction was subtracted. The results show that round wires had a lower friction than rectangular wires, the beta-titanium wires had a markedly higher friction than stainless steel wires, and friction increased with angulation for all bracket/wire combinations. The self-ligating brackets had a markedly lower friction than conventional brackets at all angulations, and self-ligating brackets, closed by the capping of a conventional design, exhibited a significantly lower friction than self-ligating brackets closed by a spring. The selection of bracket design, wire material, and wire cross-section significantly influences the forces acting in a continuous arch system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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