As you all know, orthodontic wires generate a bio-mechanical force through brackets for uninterrupted tooth
movement. Orthodontic wires vary according to the materials used, wire sizes, properties, and uses. You may
select the type of orthodontic wire according to the demand of particular clinical situation. But, choosing the
appropriate orthodontic wire size and alloy type would benefit the treatment with predictable results.
So, consider all these properties of orthodontic wires before opting wires for a particular treatment,
- Spring back – the orthodontic wire should possess high spring back quality
- Stiffness – low stiffness has the ability to apply lower forces and more constant over time.
- Formability – the wire material should exhibit high formability, easy to bend into desired configuration.
- Biocompatibility – the selected type of orthodontic wire should have resistance to corrosion and tarnish
- Resilience – the orthodontic wire should exhibit high resilience to increase the working range of the
- Joinability – It should be easy to join by soldering and welding
- Friction – the type of orthodontic wires should provide least friction to avoid undue strain on anchorage
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Classification of Orthodontic Wires Based on
Stainless steel orthodontic wires remained a popular choice in orthodontics. Stainless steel has the ability to alter
composition or the physical properties in the manufacturing process. The material has excellent use in oral cavity
due to its rust resistance properties.
Advantages of choosing stainless steel
- Great spring back
- Exceptional formability
- Environmental stability
- Spring back lesser than Ti alloys
- Not resilient as Nitinol
- High force may break up over long period of time
- Cobalt– chromium has similar properties as stainless steel but this type of orthodontic wires have a high
CoCr is useful under certain clinical circumstances and has different formable states.
Advantages of CoCr wires
- Resistance to distortion and fatigue
- Corrosion resistance
- Good formability
- Reduced yield strength and tensile strength
Nickel titanium is a highly recommended orthodontic wire with excellent physical properties. This type of
orthodontic wire exhibit shape memory effect with the quality to return back to their original form after
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Advantages of Ni-Ti wires
- Corrosion resistance
- High fatigue strength
- Moderate heat resistance
Gold alloys were the first wires used in orthodontics but, today you cannot choose gold because of its high cost
compared to other base metal wires. The gold alloy has elastic force much less than stainless steel.
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Advantages of using gold orthodontic wires
- High corrosion resistance
- Excellent formability
- Inert metal
- Low yield strength
- High cost
- Limited spring back property
Orthodontic wires are used to correct the irregularities in your patient’s teeth and maintain the dental position.
The type of orthodontic wires in round shape will correct crowding, open a bite, close spaces and level the arch.
The type of orthodontic wires in rectangular shape will be useful in the final stages of treatment to position the
crown and root.
The orthodontic wire sizes are specified in thousands of an inch. The dental arch form may vary according to the
patients, but you should preserve the patient’s original arch form.
It’s significant to know the properties of orthodontic wires and use it wisely in orthodontics. Ensure proper
handling of orthodontic wires for better results. In the near future, materials with excellent aesthetics and strength
are expected to replace the orthodontic metals.