Introduction: The main advantage of superelastic nickel-titanium (NiTi) products is their unique characteristic of force plateaus, which allow for clinically precise control of the force. The aims of this study were to define the mechanical characteristics of several currently available closed-coil retraction springs and to compare these products.
Methods: A universal test frame was used to acquire force-deflection diagrams of 24 NiTi closed-coil springs at body temperature. Data analysis was performed with the superelastic algorithm. Also, the influence of temperature cycles and mechanical microcycles simulating ingestion of different foods and mastication, respectively, were considered.
Results: Mechanical testing showed significant differences between the various spring types (ANOVA, < or =0.05), but constant intrabatch behavior (t test). Four groups were formed according to the mechanical properties of the springs: strong superelasticity without bias stress, weak superelasticity without bias stress, strong superelasticity with bias stress, and weak superelasticity with bias stress.
Conclusions: In sliding mechanics, the strongly superelastic closed-coil springs with preactivation are recommended. In addition, we found that the oral environment seems to have only a minor influence on their mechanical properties.
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