Background: This study was designed to determine whether or not high-frequency and low-magnitude vibration affects orthodontic tooth movement caused by magnetic or/and mechanical forces.
Methods: Forty-four 7-week-old Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups, with each group further divided into experimental and control subgroups. Neodymium-Iron-Boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets and Sentalloy closed coil springs were placed between maxillary or mandibular first molars and incisors to activate tooth movement. The animals of experimental subgroups were exposed to the vibration induced by pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) whilst the control subgroups were under normal atmosphere. The experiment lasted for 14 days and all of the animals were sacrificed for examination. The changes in the space between the molar and incisor were measured to indicate the amount of tooth movement.
Results: The coil springs, either with sham or active magnets, move molar much more than magnets alone, regardless of absence or presence of PEMF (p < 0.001). Under PEMF, the coil spring moved significantly more amount of tooth movement than that of coil-magnet combination (p < 0.01), as did the magnets compared to sham magnets (p < 0.019). Under a non-PEMF scenario, there was no significant difference in tooth movement between coil spring and coil-magnets combination, nor was there difference between magnets and sham magnets.
Conclusions: It is suggested that the PEMF-induced vibration may enhance the effect of mechanical and magnetic forces on tooth movement.