Five identical samples, each consisting of a fixed appliance, a headgear and a quad-helix for one-half of a dental arch, were immersed in 0.9% sodium chloride for 2 hours, 24 hours and 7 days. A control appliance was subjected to dynamic test conditions in a specially built “oral simulator” under similar test conditions. A significant release of nickel was detected from the quad-helix during the first two hours in static conditions, whereas during the following two periods significantly less nickel was released from the quad-helix than from the other appliances. The fixed appliance with simulated function showed a significantly higher cumulative release of nickel than the similar appliance in static conditions, 44.2 μg (SD 22.8) and 17.1 μg (SD 3.4). The total amounts of chromium released from the fixed appliance were significantly lower than those of nickel. No difference in the release of chromium was seen between the static and dynamic conditions. The results indicate certain differences in the amount and pattern of nickel release from different stainless steel orthodontic appliances in vitro. The release rate of nickel from dynamically loaded fixed appliances was found to be accelerated compared with that released under static conditions. Caution should be exercised when applying the results to the in vivo situation.

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Author notes

Heidi Kerosuo, Dr. Odont., visiting scientist, NIOM, Scandinavian Institute of Dental Materials

Grete Moe, chemical engineer, Department of Dental Materials, University of Bergen

Erik Kleven, section engineer, NIOM, Scandinavian Institute of Dental Materials