Titanium mini-implants have been successfully used as anchorage devices in Orthodontics. Commercially pure titanium (cpTi) was recently replaced by Ti-6Al-4V alloy as the mini-implant material base due to the higher strength properties of the alloy. However, the lower corrosion resistance and the lower biocompatibility have been lowering the success rate of Ti-6Al-4V mini-implants. Nanostructured titanium (nTi) is commercially pure titanium that was nanostructured by a specific technique of severe plastic deformation. It is bioinert, does not contain potentially toxic or allergic additives, and has higher specific strength properties than any other titanium applied in medical implants. The higher strength properties associated to the higher biocompatibility make nTi potentially useful for orthodontic mini-implant applications, theoretically overcoming cpTi and Ti-6Al-4V mini-implants. The purposes of the this work were to process nTi, to mechanically compare cpTi, Ti-6Al-4V, and nTi mini-implants by torque test, and to evaluate both the surface morphology and the fracture surface characteristics of them by SEM. Torque test results showed significant increase in the maximum torque resistance of nTi mini-implants when compared to cpTi mini-implants, and no statistical difference between Ti-6Al-4V and nTi mini-implants. SEM analysis demonstrated smooth surface morphology and transgranular fracture aspect for nTi mini-implants. Since nanostructured titanium mini-implants have mechanical properties comparable to titanium alloy mini-implants, and biocompatibility comparable to commercially pure titanium mini-implants, it is suggestive that nanostructured titanium can replace Ti-6Al-4V alloy as the material base for mini-implants.
Keywords: Nanostructured Ti; Ti-6Al-4V alloy; cpTi.
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