Characterization and coating stability evaluation of nickel-titanium orthodontic esthetic wires: an in vivo study

<div><p>Abstract The objective of this study was to compare coating dimensions and surface characteristics of two different esthetic covered nickel-titanium orthodontic rectangular archwires, as-received from the manufacturer and after oral exposure. The study was designed for comparative purposes. Both archwires, as-received from the manufacturer, were observed using a stereomicroscope to measure coating thickness and inner metallic dimensions. The wires were also exposed to oral environment in 11 orthodontic active patients for 21 days. After removing the samples, stereomicroscopy images were captured, coating loss was measured and its percentage was calculated. Three segments of each wire (one as-received and two after oral exposure) were observed using scanning electron microscopy for a qualitative analysis of the labial surface of the wires. The Lilliefors test and independent t-test were applied to verify normality of data and statistical differences between wires, respectively. The significance level adopted was 0.05. The results showed that the differences between the wires while comparing inner height and thickness were statistically significant (p < 0.0001). In average, the most recently launched wire presented a coating thickness twice that of the control wire, which was also a statistically significant difference. The coating loss percentage was also statistically different (p = 0.0346) when the latest launched wire (13.27%) was compared to the control (29.63%). In conclusion, the coating of the most recent wire was thicker and more uniform, whereas the control had a thinner coating on the edges. After oral exposure, both tested wires presented coating loss, but the most recently launched wire exhibited better results.</p></div>