Journal Article

Torque capacity of metal and polycarbonate brackets with and without a metal slot

Winfried Harzer, Christoph Bourauel and Henner Gmyrek

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 26, issue 4, pages 435-441
Published in print August 2004 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online August 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/26.4.435
Torque capacity of metal and polycarbonate brackets with and without a metal slot

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The aim of the present study was to investigate slot deformation and the equivalent torque capacity of polycarbonate brackets with and without a metal slot in comparison with those of a metal bracket. For this purpose, the expansion characteristics and, in a further investigation, the labial crown torque of an upper central incisor, were measured in a simulated intra-oral clinical situation, using the orthodontic measuring and simulation system (OMSS). Three types of bracket with a 0.018 inch slot were tested: polycarbonate Brillant® without a metal slot, Elegance® with a metal slot and the metal bracket, Mini-Mono®. For testing purposes the brackets were torqued with 0.016 × 0.022 inch (0.41 × 0.56 mm) and 0.018 × 0.022 inch (0.46 × 0.56 mm) ideal stainless steel archwires.

In the activating experiments, significantly higher torque losses and lower torquing moments were registered with both rectangular archwires with the polycarbonate brackets than with the metal bracket. In the simulation tests, significantly higher torquing moments were registered with the metal bracket than with the polycarbonate brackets. The values for the Elegance® bracket were between those of the Mini-Mono® and Brillant® brackets. The OMSS model approximates the clinical situation, with the torque loss being notably higher than in the in vitro activating experiments. This is due to the adjacent teeth giving the archwire additional play. In addition, the torquing process may twist the archwire, resulting in subsidiary forces.

On the basis of the present results, all three brackets can be recommended for torquing. However, in view of the high torque losses, the torques programmed in the straightwire technique must be seen as questionable. Data should be provided by the manufacturer on the bending to be expected in polycarbonate brackets, which has to be offset by additional torque, or the bracket torque should be omitted from the technical specifications.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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