Fiber reinforced composite arch-wires in orthodontics: Function meets esthetics

Ashima Valiathan, Siddhartha Dhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Orthodontic tooth movement is carried out, by engaging successively increasing sizes of archwires in brackets, which are bonded to the teeth. Traditionally, brackets as well as archwires were manufactured with Stainless steel or Chrome-Cobalt alloy. Titanium and its alloys have also found their application in this field. With the steady increase in the number of adults undergoing orthodontic treatment, there has been a corresponding increase in demand for more esthetic orthodontic appliances. Ceramics and polycarbonates have been used to produce tooth colored brackets, and research is under way to produce a suitable archwire material, which will combine esthetics with the required mechanical properties. Fiber-reinforced polymer composites are currently being developed for use as orthodontic archwire materials. By adjusting the ceramic/polymer proportions, these wires can be manufactured in a wide range of clinically relevant levels of elastic stiffness, allowing practitioners to use variable-modulus orthodontic techniques without having to change arch wire materials as treatment progresses. Allergic reactions to nickel, which are a debatable concern for many metallic alloys, are also averted with composite materials.. With further developments, in the near future, fiber reinforced composite materials are expected to replace metals at the material of choice for orthodontic arch wires.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-19
Number of pages4
JournalTrends in Biomaterials and Artificial Organs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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