The metal content of generic orthodontic brackets compared with proprietary brackets

Morgan Wishney, Tom Savage, Nicholas Proschogo, Peter Petocz, M. Ali Darendeliler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: With minimal manufacturer information, a variety of ‘generic’ orthodontic brackets are available online from overseas distributors. The present study investigated the metal composition of generic orthodontic brackets compared with two well-known ‘proprietary’ brands.
Materials and methods: Ranging in price from AU$2.99 to $65, five sets of different generic brackets were obtained directly from China via eBay (G1, G2…G5). Proprietary brackets were obtained from American Orthodontics (P1) and Rocky Mountain Orthodontics (P2). The 11, 12, 13 and 14 brackets from each set were liquefied in an acid solution and subjected to trace element analysis using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) with respect to nickel, chromium, iron, copper, molybdenum, manganese, cadmium, mercury, arsenic
and lead. Statistical analysis investigated the compositional consistency within and between each brand.
Results: The composition of P1 and P2 agreed with the manufacturer’s data. The generic groups typically had low molybdenum and higher copper content and approximated either 17-4 or AISI304 stainless steels or a combination of both. No relationship between brand and consistency of manufacture could be identified. The cheapest bracket contained lead.
Conclusions: Generic and proprietary brackets showed differences in their metal composition that may have biocompatibility implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Orthodontic Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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