Aim and objective: The present study compared the frictional forces of three types of self-ligating lingual appliances.
Materials and methods: The lingual appliances (2D, Forestadent; Alias, Ormco; and Clippy L, Tomy International) consisted of a self-ligating bracket (second premolar) and two self-ligating tubes (first and second molars) bonded to a stainless steel jig and attached to a “drawing-friction tester.” Full-size and non-full-size stainless steel archwires were tested, and the static and kinetic friction acting on six lingual appliance/wire combinations was estimated (n = 5). Three-dimensional micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) analysis of each premolar bracket was performed. The frictional forces were compared between the bracket/wire combinations using the Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney U tests.
Results: The Alias and Clippy L bracket/wire combinations had greater contact between the wire surfaces and bracket slots compared to the 2D bracket/wire combination. For all lingual appliances, the static and kinetic frictional forces were significantly higher for the full-size than non-full-size archwire. The 2D bracket, which had a wider outer wing, had less frictional force than the other appliances. The Alias, which had a narrower outer wing, had a significantly lower frictional force than the Clippy L.
Conclusions: Frictional force was significantly higher for heavier full-size bracket/archwire combinations than for non-full-size archwires. The 2D bracket had lower frictional force due to its archwire-holding mechanism. The outer wing width may influence the frictional resistance.
Clinical significance: The frictional forces of self-ligating lingual appliances vary, and bracket design and archwire size may influence the frictional performance.
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