BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to compare the mechanical, structural, and aesthetic properties of two types of aesthetic coated nickel-titanium (NiTi) wires compared with comparable regular NiTi wires in the as-received state and after clinical use. MATERIALS/METHODS: Sixty one subjects were randomly assigned to four groups (N = 61), two groups of coated wires and two groups of comparable, non-coated controls (n = 15/group). The period in the mouth ranged from 4 to 12 weeks after insertion. In total, 121 wires (61 retrieved and 60 as-received) were used in the study. The percentages of coating retention and loss were extrapolated from scans. A brief survey of five questions with three choices was given to all patients. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and three-point bending tests were done on as-received and used wires. RESULTS: The surface characterization by the percentage of resin remaining indicated that most wires in both test groups lost a significant amount of coating. A patient survey indicated that this was a noticeable feature for patients. DSC analysis of the wires indicated that the metallurgical properties of the coated wires were not similar to the uncoated wires in the as-received condition. Three-point bending results indicate a wide variation in test results with large standard deviations among all the groups. LIMITATIONS: The extent of coating loss requires investigating, as do the biological properties of the detached coating. CONCLUSIONS: Both wires lost a significant amount of aesthetic coating after varying periods in the mouth. The metallurgical testing of these findings may indicate that these wires perform differently in the mouth.
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