Edition V15N03 | Year 2010 | Editorial Original Article | Pages 169 to 177
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to analyze, with the aid of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the chemical and structural changes in metal brackets subjected to an in vitro biodegradation process. Methods: The sample was divided into three groups according to brackets commercial brand names, i.e., Group A = Dyna-Lock, 3M/Unitek (AISI 303) and Group B = LG standard edgewise, American Orthodontics (AISI 316L). The specimens were simulated orthodontic appliances, which remained immersed in saline solution (0.05%) for a period of 60 days at 37°C under agitation. The changes resulting from exposure of the brackets to the saline solution were investigated by microscopic observation (SEM) and chemical composition analysis (EDX), performed before and after the immersion period (T0 and T5, respectively). Results: The results showed, at T5, the formation of products of corrosion on the surface of the brackets, especially in Group A. In addition, there were changes in the composition of the bracket alloy in both groups, whereas in group A there was a reduction in iron and chromium ions, and in Group B a reduction in chromium ions. Conclusions: The brackets in Group A were less resistant to in vitro biodegradation, which might be associated with the type of steel used by the manufacturer (AISI 303).