Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Bradley, Thomas G.

Second Advisor

Berzins, David

Third Advisor

Bosio, Jose A.


Introduction: The demand for esthetic orthodontics has increased rapidly over the past few decades, and much progress has been made in the development of esthetic clear and translucent brackets for labial orthodontics. However, the majority of wires used with these clear brackets are still the traditional alloys. Recently, American Orthodontics (Sheboygan, WI) and Opal (Ultradent; South Jordan, UT) have released epoxy resin coated nickel-titanium archwires that give a tooth-colored appearance. American Orthodontics has released EverWhite and Opal has released Via Pearl. The goal of this study was to compare the thermal properties of these new archwires with their uncoated counterparts before and after clinical use via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).

Materials and Methods: Four types of nickel-titanium orthodontic archwires were evaluated in this study. The four types consisted of two epoxy coated wires and two comparable control wires of the same .016 x 0.022 inch dimension. The transformation temperatures and phase transformations of these wires were determined in the as-received condition and after 4 to 12 weeks in the oral cavity by differential scanning calorimetry. In addition, the amount of coating lost for each coated archwire after clinical use was determined using a scanned image of the wire and matlab software.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in thermal properties when comparing archwires before and after clinical use. However, significant differences were observed between the as-received uncoated and coated counterparts from both manufacturers. Both wire types lost a significant amount of esthetic coating after use, but the Opal Via Pearl wire maintained significantly more coating compared to the EverWhite type.

Conclusions: The significant differences between as-received uncoated and coated wires from the same manufacturer indicate that these wires may perform differently in clinical situations contrary to the manufacturers' claims. In addition, improvements to the coating processes or alternative wires are needed to provide a more esthetic archwire with limited coating loss.