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Objectives: To investigate the nickel ion release, surface morphology, and surface roughness of nickel-free orthodontic brackets after exposed to different fluoride-containing products.
Materials and methods: Twelve samples of nickel-free orthodontic brackets were divided into 3 groups and exposed to different fluoride-containing products; fluoride varnish, acidulated phosphate fluoride solution, or artificial saliva without fluoride as a control group. The exposure time was following the recommended time of each product. The brackets were exposed to these products following their instructions. Then, all samples were removed from solutions and immersed in artificial saliva for 7 days. The amount of nickel ion and surface roughness were determined with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and a non-contact optical 3-dimensional surface characterization and roughness measuring device, respectively. Their surfaces were evaluated using a scanning electron microscope. The data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s test at a significance level of 0.05.
Results: The amount of nickel ion released was low and there was no significant difference between control, fluoride varnish, and APF group (p=0.12). The mean ± SD of nickel ion concentration were irregularities and grooves were presented on the surfaces of nickel-free brackets in fluoride varnish and APF group. Average surface roughness was higher in the fluoride varnish and APF group compared to the control group but there were also no significant differences between the three groups (p=0.06).
Conclusion: Fluoride varnish and APF gel have a minor effect on nickel-free orthodontic brackets in the aspect of nickel ion released and surface roughness. These products can be used in orthodontic patients who were treated with fixed nickel-free appliances.
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