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Journal of Applied Oral Science

Print version ISSN 1678-7757

Abstract

HOLST, Alexandra Ioana; HOLST, Stefan; HIRSCHFELDER, Ursula  and  SECKENDORFF, Volker Von. Retrieval analysis of different orthodontic brackets: the applicability of electron microprobe techniques for determining material heterogeneities and corrosive potential. J. Appl. Oral Sci. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.4, pp. 478-485. ISSN 1678-7757.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1678-77572012000400015.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the applicability of micro-analytical methods with high spatial resolution to the characterization of the composition and corrosion behavior of two bracket systems. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The surfaces of six nickel-free brackets and six nickel-containing brackets were examined for signs of corrosion and qualitative surface analysis using an electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA), prior to bonding to patient's tooth surfaces and four months after clinical use. The surfaces were characterized qualitatively by secondary electron (SE) images and back scattered electron (BSE) images in both compositional and topographical mode. Qualitative and quantitative wavelength-dispersive analyses were performed for different elements, and by utilizing qualitative analysis the relative concentration of selected elements was mapped two-dimensionally. The absolute concentration of the elements was determined in specially prepared brackets by quantitative analysis using pure element standards for calibration and calculating correction-factors (ZAF). RESULTS: Clear differences were observed between the different bracket types. The nickel-containing stainless steel brackets consist of two separate pieces joined by a brazing alloy. Compositional analysis revealed two different alloy compositions, and reaction zones on both sides of the brazing alloy. The nickel-free bracket was a single piece with only slight variation in element concentration, but had a significantly rougher surface. After clinical use, no corrosive phenomena were detectable with the methods applied. Traces of intraoral wear at the contact areas between the bracket slot and the arch wire were verified. CONCLUSION: Electron probe microanalysis is a valuable tool for the characterization of element distribution and quantitative analysis for corrosion studies.

Keywords : Orthodontic bracket; Galvanic corrosion; Electron probe microanalysis; Nickel.

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