Journal Article

The effect of environmental factors on elastomeric chain and nickel titanium coil springs

C Nattrass, AJ Ireland and M Sherriff

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 169-176
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/20.2.169
The effect of environmental factors on elastomeric chain and nickel titanium coil springs

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It is well known that elastomers exhibit viscoelasticity and as such have their mechanical properties modified by temperature. Nickel titanium archwires are also affected by temperature and have been modified with specific temperature related properties for clinical use. What is less well known is the effect that other environmental factors, such as food, might have on the force delivery properties of both elastomeric materials and nickel titanium coil springs used for space closure. For instance gross colour change in elastomeric chain is a common clinical finding in patients who consume spiced foods.

The aim of this work was to determine the effect three common environmental factors namely, water, Coke®, and turmeric solution have on elastomeric chain and nickel titanium coil springs. In addition, it was decided to re-examine the effect of temperature at 10, 22, and 37°C on both these space closing materials. Unlike many previous investigations, the test specimens were held at a constant stretch throughout the test period, including during their transfer to the Instron Universal Testing machine for force measurement. Six force measurements were made over the first hour, then at 24 hours and 7 days. A control group of dry specimens, maintained at 22°C, had additional measurements made weekly for a 4-week period.

The results indicated that elastomeric chain was affected by all the test environments while nickel titanium springs were only affected by temperature.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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