Aesthetics has become an essential element when choosing orthodontic fixed appliances. Most metallic brackets used in orthodontic therapy are made from stainless steel (SS) with the appropriate physical properties and good corrosion resistance, and are available as types 304, 316 and 17-4 PH SS. However, localized corrosion of these materials can frequently occur in the oral environment. This study was undertaken to evaluate the accuracy of sizing, microstructure, hardness, corrosion resistance, frictional resistance and cytotoxicity of commercially available Mini-diamond (S17400), Archist (S30403) and experimentally manufactured SR-50A (S32050) brackets. The size accuracy of Mini-diamond was the highest at all locations except for the external horizontal width of the tie wing (P < 0.05). Micrographs of the Mini-diamond and Archist showed precipitates in the grains and around their boundaries. SR-50A showed the only austenitic phase and the highest polarization resistance of the tested samples. SR-50A also had the highest corrosion resistance [SR-50A, Mini-diamond and Archist were 0.9 × 10-3, 3.7 × 10 -3, and 7.4 × 10-3 mm per year (mpy), respectively], in the artificial saliva. The frictional force of SR-50A decreased over time, but that of Mini-diamond and Archist increased. Therefore, SR-50A is believed to have better frictional properties to orthodontic wire than Mini-diamond and Archist. Cytotoxic results showed that the response index of SR-50A was 0/1 (mild), Mini-diamond 1/1 (mild+), and Archist 1/2 (mild+). SR-50A showed greater biocompatibility than either Mini-diamond or Archist. It is concluded that the SR-50A bracket has good frictional property, corrosion resistance and biocompatibility with a lower probability of allergic reaction, compared with conventionally used SS brackets.
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