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Open AccessArticle

Thermoplastic Disks Used for Commercial Orthodontic Aligners: Complete Physicochemical and Mechanical Characterization

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Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics, University of L’Aquila, Piazzale Pontieri 1, Monteluco di Roio, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
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Department of Life, Health & Environmental Sciences, Postgraduate School of Orthodontics, University of L’Aquila, P.le Salvatore Tommasi 1, Ed. Delta 6, 67100 Coppito L’Aquila, Italy
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Department of Engineering ‘Enzo Ferrari’, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via P. Vivarelli 10, 41125 Modena, Italy
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Department of Construction, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Polytechnic University of Marche, 60121 Ancona, Italy
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Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche snc, 60131 Ancona, Italy
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Department of Clinical Science and Translational Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(10), 2386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13102386
Received: 12 April 2020 / Revised: 14 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
Invisible orthodontic aligners (IOAs) have been introduced in the orthodontic field as an innovative alternative for fixed brackets, in relation to their ability to be easily inserted/removed from the oral cavity without affecting the chewing ability and the aesthetic of the patients. The paper provides a complete physicochemical and mechanical characterization of thermoplastic materials in the form of disks used for commercial IOAs. A wide palette of specific techniques is considered, from tensile tests and dynamic-mechanical analysis, to X-Ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR) analyses and water absorption tests. The disks are investigated before and after immersion into staining beverages (red wine, coffee, nicotine and artificial saliva), in terms of colour variations, transparency, and microscopic surface modifications by means of colorimetry, UV-VIS absorbance and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Among all the samples, polyurethane (PU) exhibited the highest crystallinity and the highest values of mechanical and thermal resistance, while the poly(ethylene terephthalate)-glycol (PETG) samples presented better transparency and less ability to absorb water. Moreover, red wine and coffee give noticeable colour variations after 14 days of immersion, together with a slight reduction of transparency.
Keywords: thermoplastic materials; invisible orthodontic appliances; physicochemical characterization; mechanical properties; colour change evaluations; water absorption behaviour thermoplastic materials; invisible orthodontic appliances; physicochemical characterization; mechanical properties; colour change evaluations; water absorption behaviour
MDPI and ACS Style

Daniele, V.; Macera, L.; Taglieri, G.; Di Giambattista, A.; Spagnoli, G.; Massaria, A.; Messori, M.; Quagliarini, E.; Chiappini, G.; Campanella, V.; Mummolo, S.; Marchetti, E.; Marzo, G.; Quinzi, V. Thermoplastic Disks Used for Commercial Orthodontic Aligners: Complete Physicochemical and Mechanical Characterization. Materials 2020, 13, 2386.

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