The purpose of this study was to determine and compare nickel and chromium ion release from traditional stainless steel and nickel titanium wires and newer esthetic archwires under different pH conditions, for different time intervals. Ten pieces of 10-mm segments of five different orthodontic archwires were submerged in buffer solutions of pH 4.0, 5.5, and 7.0, for 4 and 13 weeks. The sample solutions were analyzed using ICP-MS. First, the results were analyzed by three-way ANOVA to determine any significant differences in metal concentration (ppb) between the different groups. Then, a post-hoc multiple pairwise comparison by Tukey's Studentized Range (HSD) Test was conducted to further compare the different materials and pH conditions. For nickel, uncoated NiTi had the highest nickel ion release (ppb), while AO Iconix had the lowest average nickel ion release, with a significant difference (p<0.0001). The average nickel release increased with time and decreased with pH. For chromium, materials with uncoated stainless steel had the highest average chromium ion release, whereas AO Iconix had the lowest average chromium ion release, with a statistically significant difference (p<0.0001). Chromium ion release increased with time and decreased with pH. There were significant differences in metal ion release between different pH conditions, materials, and time points. The metal ion release increased with increase in time and decrease in pH. Overall, the coated archwires showed less metal ion release than the uncoated wires.

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