Journal Article

Constant versus dissipating forces in orthodontics: the effect on initial tooth movement and root resorption

F. Weiland

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 25, issue 4, pages 335-342
Published in print August 2003 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online August 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/25.4.335
Constant versus dissipating forces in orthodontics: the effect on initial tooth movement and root resorption

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The aim of this clinical and confocal laser scanning microscopic study was to compare the effects of two frequently used archwires on tooth movement and root resorption. A total of 84 premolars in 27 individuals (10 boys, 17 girls, with a mean age of 12.5 years) was moved buccally with an experimental fixed orthodontic appliance. In a split mouth experimental design the premolar on one side was activated with a stainless steel wire with a buccal offset of 1 mm, which was reactivated every four weeks and the contralateral premolar was moved with a superelastic wire with a force plateau of 0.8–1 N. This wire had an initial activation of 4.5 mm and was not reactivated during the 12‐week experimental period. At the end of the experimental period the teeth were extracted. Six premolars were used as control teeth and were extracted before the experiment started. Tooth displacement was studied three‐dimensionally on dental casts with a co‐ordinate measuring machine. The depth, perimeter, area, and volume of the resorption lacunae was measured using three‐dimensional digital images made with a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM). On these images the resorbed portions of the root surface were ‘reconstructed’ mathematically.

The results show that the teeth activated with the superelastic wire moved significantly more than the teeth with the steel wire during the experimental period. The depth of the resorption lacunae did not differ significantly between the groups; however, perimeter, area, and volume of the resorption lacunae on the teeth of the ‘superelastic group’ were 140 per cent greater than on the teeth of the ‘steel group’.

It may be concluded that a greater amount of tooth movement occurred with superelastic wires, offering a force level of 0.8–1 N compared with stainless steel wires, with initially higher but rapidly declining forces in an experimental set up for a period of 12 weeks. The amount of root resorption was significantly larger in the superelastic group.

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Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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