A Closer Look at Orthodontic Bonding
Anyone who has worked in the industry for over a decade can appreciate that orthodontic bonding has come a long way in recent years. Gone are the days of foul-smelling methyl methacrylate cement and the constant need for rebonds. In the age of modern, cured adhesive systems, it’s never been easier to attach appliances cleanly and efficiently.
But not all systems are created equal. With the wrong adhesive, bracket floating and outright bond failure are still possibilities. Given the threat of dental caries and all the work that goes into establishing proper alignment, the last thing you or your patients want is for a bracket to slip. That’s why, when we set out to offer a precision bonding solution, we wanted it to be one of the most reliable options on the market. Now, thanks to a groundbreaking scientific study, we know we’ve succeeded.
Research published in the scientific journal Contemporary Materials offers new insights into the bonding process at the nanoscopic level. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM), the researchers were able to observe the nanostructures of both tooth enamel and various orthodontic adhesives. Studying these incredibly small structures in such high fidelity allowed scientists to isolate and measure how a key variable affects the bond strength of an adhesive: the form of the adhesive surface itself.
When viewed through such a powerful microscope, orthodontic adhesives look like the surface of alien worlds. The nanostructures of these compounds form hills and valleys, the magnitude of which depend on the unique compositions of the adhesive. Some bonding solutions have rolling hills and shallow troughs, whereas others are more akin to a microscopic version of the Rocky Mountains. The researchers refer to these features as the “adhesive roughness” – the higher the hills, or “thorns,” the rougher the adhesive is said to be.
Through extensive trials, the roughness of an adhesive nanostructure proved to be positively related to bond strength. Simply put, the more thorns an adhesive has, the more easily it fits into the etched gaps between the carbonated hydroxyapatite crystals that make up tooth enamel. It’s not unlike the tiny hooks and loops that make Velcro lock together: the more hooks there are, the stronger the bond is.
In the course of this study, many of the most popular brands of orthodontic adhesives were tested. The researchers found that our product, Resilience Orthodontic adhesive, produced the strongest bond. According to the study’s abstract, “Higher roughness of Resilience Orthodontic bonding solutions at the nano level is probably due to a bigger number of thorns which penetrate into micro cavities formed under the action of acids. Higher roughness is a consequence of the chemical structure itself.” In other words: the specific nature of Resilience’s composite resin produces bonds you and your patients can rely on.
At Ortho Technology, we pride ourselves on helping doctors and patients find value in every smile. In practice, this means always staying on the cutting edge of the latest advances in orthodontic research by searching high and low for advancements that make clinic visits easier on everyone. As this nanoscopic research shows, even the smallest details can make a big difference for your patients.