Journal Article

The effect upon friction of the degradation of orthodontic elastomeric modules

Ian Robert Edwards, David John Spary and William Peter Rock

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 34, issue 5, pages 618-624
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
The effect upon friction of the degradation of orthodontic elastomeric modules

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  • Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics


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Orthodontic elastomeric modules are susceptible to degradation and deformation after time in the mouth. The aims of this study were to determine whether degradation of elastomeric modules significantly affects friction during sliding mechanics and to investigate whether there is a difference in the behaviour of elastomeric modules after storage in both in vivo and in vitro environments. An Instron testing machine was used to determine the friction generated by elastomeric modules on 0.019 × 0.025 inch stainless steel archwires at 4 degrees of bracket tip. Four brands of modules were tested straight from the packet (n = 15), after storage in artificial saliva (n = 15), and after being in patients’ mouths (n = 32). Modules were tested after 24 hours, 1 week, and 6 weeks after storage in both in vivo and in vitro. Analysis of variance revealed that the degradation of elastomeric modules had a variable affect upon friction and that each storage medium produced a distinct pattern of frictional resistance. Modules stored in artificial saliva experienced a significant reduction in friction (P < 0.001) while modules collected from patients’ mouths produced similar friction to modules tested straight from the packet. TP Super Slick® modules under dry test conditions produced significantly greater friction than the other three types of test modules (P < 0.001). The structure and surface characteristics of elastomeric modules may affect frictional resistance when a bracket slides along an archwire. These effects vary according to time, storage medium, and brand of elastomeric material.

Journal Article.  4029 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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