Objective: To compare the level of friction resistance (FR) of conventional and silica-insert ceramic brackets using various bracket-wire combinations and angulations. Materials and Methods: Four types of ceramic brackets were examined: (1) polycrystalline alumina bracket (PCA-C), (2) polycrystalline alumina bracket with a stainless steel (SS) slot (PCAM), (3) polycrystalline alumina bracket with a silica layer (PCA-S), and (4) monocrystalline sapphire bracket (MCS). A conventional SS bracket was used as the control. The static and kinetic FR in four bracket-wire angulations (0°, 5°, 10°, and 15°) was examined using SS and β-titanium (β-Ti) orthodontic wires, 0.019 x 0.025 inches in size, under elastic ligature in the dry state. Results: The FR generated by the PCA-S bracket was significantly lower than that generated with the other ceramic brackets, and was similar to that of the SS bracket. The PCA-S bracket showed the lowest FR with both the SS and the β-Ti wires at zero bracket angulation. The FR to sliding increased rapidly and nonlinearly when the bracket wire angulation was >5°. The PCS-S bracket showed the lowest FR from 5° to 15° of angulation. The MCS bracket demonstrated the highest increase in FR from 0° to 15° of angulation, showing the highest FR at 15° of angulation. Conclusion: PCA-S showed minimal FR among the ceramic brackets, and was comparable to the conventional SS bracket. The silica layer and rounded edges of the ceramic slot lowered FR considerably.
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