The aim of this study was to investigate the element composition and grain size of commercial dental instruments used for ultrasonic scaler tips, which are composed of stainless-steel materials. The differences in mechanical properties and wear resistances were compared. The samples were classified into 4 groups in accordance with the manufacturer, Electro Medical Systems, 3A MEDES, DMETEC and OSUNG MND, and the element compositions of each stainless-steel ultrasonic scaler tip were analyzed with micro-X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (µXRF) and field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). One-way ANOVA showed that there were significant differences in shear strength and Vickers hardness among the stainless-steel ultrasonic scaler tips depending on the manufacturer (p < 0.05). The mass before and after wear were found to have no significant difference among groups (p > 0.05), but there was a significant difference in the wear volume loss (p < 0.05). The results were then correlated with µXRF results as well as observations of grain size with optical microscopy, which concluded that the Fe content and the grain size of the stainless steel have significant impacts on strength. Additionally, stainless-steel ultrasonic scaler tips with higher Vickers hardness values showed greater wear resistance, which would be an important wear characteristic for clinicians to check.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)