2007 Volume 48 Issue 3 Pages 367-372
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance and the usefulness of a newly developed Ni-free Ti-based shape memory alloy (SMA) wire in orthodontic tooth movement by comparing with a nickel-titanium (Ni-Ti) alloy wire. A Titanium-niobium-aluminum (Ti-24Nb-3Al) SMA wire, which was considered to be biocompatible because it contained no nickel, was newly developed and mechanical property of this new alloy was improved by severe cold rolling reduction. Twenty-one male Wistar-strain rats (age; 6 weeks) were used in the animal experiment. A Ti-Nb-Al alloy wire and an orthodontic superelastic wire (Ni-Ti alloy wire) were set in the oral cavities of rats, and orthodontic palatal movement of maxillary first molars was performed with an initial load of 15 gf. The amount of tooth movement was measured and periodontal structures were histologically examined. The Ti-Nb-Al alloy wire was effective for palatal tooth movement without any adverse reaction in rats. There was no significant difference in the amount of tooth movement between the Ti-Nb-Al group and the Ni-Ti group. Histological observation of the periodontal tissues revealed no differences between the two groups. These results indicate that Ti-Nb-Al alloy wire has excellent mechanical properties suitable for orthodontic tooth movement, suggesting that Ti-Nb-Al wire may be used as a practical nickel-free shape memory and superelastic alloy wire for orthodontic treatment as a substitute for Ni-Ti alloy wire.