Angle Orthod. 2017 Jan;87(1):11-18. doi: 10.2319/113015-813.1. Epub 2016 Jun 17.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the stress release properties of four thermoplastic materials used to make orthodontic aligners when subjected to 24 consecutive hours of deflection.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four types of aligner materials (two single and two double layered) were selected. After initial yield strength testing to characterize the materials, each sample was subjected to a constant load for 24 hours in a moist, temperature-regulated environment, and the stress release over time was measured. The test was performed three times on each type of material.
RESULTS: All polymers analyzed released a significant amount of stress during the 24-hour period. Stress release was greater during the first 8 hours, reaching a plateau that generally remained constant. The single-layer materials, F22 Aligner polyurethane (Sweden & Martina, Due Carrare, Padova, Italy) and Duran polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (SCHEU, Iserlohn, Germany), exhibited the greatest values for both absolute stress and stress decay speed. The double-layer materials, Erkoloc-Pro (Erkodent, Pfalzgrafenweiler, Germany) and Durasoft (SCHEU), exhibited very constant stress release, but at absolute values up to four times lower than the single-layer samples tested.
CONCLUSIONS: Orthodontic aligner performance is strongly influenced by the material of their construction. Stress release, which may exceed 50% of the initial stress value in the early hours of wear, may cause significant changes in the behavior of the polymers at 24 hours from the application of orthodontic loads, which may influence programmed tooth movement.