Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Dentistry

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Dental Medicine

First Advisor

Sergio Real

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Introduction: Selection of the proper arch wire requires a thorough knowledge and understanding of the mechanical properties of wires as well as the system being used. Even with careful selection, orthodontists may experience different results due to the inaccuracy of the stated wire dimensions. Previous studies by Melling et al. have shown nickel titanium, stainless steel, and chrome-cobalt arch wires to be thinner than their marketed values.1 However, the literature is lacking information regarding (1) accuracy of the currently available orthodontic arch wires and (2) the consistency of the arch wire size. Orthodontic wires are also exposed to various chemical and mechanical challenges while in the oral cavity for months. This exposure of the arch wires can potentially result in physical deterioration. With the increase in popularity of energy drinks, it is important to know if these beverages have an effect on the arch wires. Even minor deviations from the dimensions could potentially influence the resulting expression of first, second, and third order values. Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the accuracy and consistency of preformed orthodontic arch wire dimensions and to compare the surface characteristics and dimensions following exposure to energy drinks. This is based on the need to provide more information on a potential cause for discrepancies in treatment outcomes and to aid the orthodontists in their selection of wires. Methods: Stainless steel (SS), nickel titanium (NiTi), and heat activated nickel titanium (HANT) wires, size 0.019x0.025 inch, were selected from four different orthodontic manufacturing companies, both foreign and domestic. Each preformed arch wire was cut into one-inch sections at the area of the first molar and canine. The surface characteristics and dimensions were then measured with the SEM with 125x magnification. Wire segments from the initial study were randomly selected and were then exposed to either Red Bull® or Gatorade® for 60 minutes a day for a total of 30 days. Wires were rinsed and stored in deionized water and remained in an incubator at 37 ±1 °C. Results: Wire dimensions were compared to the standards set by ISO CD 15841. The initial measurements with the SEM measurements showed 58.6% of the wires had a width within the standards and 100% had heights less than the standards. There was not a significant difference between the canine and molar area heights and widths. The SS wires showed surface characteristics significantly smoother than the NiTi and HANT wires. Overall, the post treatment surface characteristics were significantly worse than the initial surface characteristics. Conclusion: According to the ISO CD 15841, the standardized height of a 0.019 x 0.025 inch orthodontic wire should measure 0.48mm and the width should be 0.64mm with a tolerance of +/- 0.01 mm for both dimensions. In this study, the dimensions were outside of the given tolerances. There was not a significant difference between the canine and molar regions, suggesting that the consistency of the arch wires is clinically acceptable. Analysis of the surface characteristics of the wires showed increased pitting and debris. Since the wires were rinsed with distilled water after each exposure to the energy drinks, it can be assumed that the areas of debris are most likely areas of corrosion. One explanation for the corrosion is that there has been some destruction to the oxide layer. Although not tested in this study, friction relative to sliding mechanics could be significantly affected.




Archwires, Energy drinks, Orthodontic



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