Force degradation of orthodontic elastomeric chains: A literature review

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Ali R Issa
Ammar S Kadhum


Background: Elastomeric chains are used to generate force in many orthodontic procedures, but this force decays over time, which could affect tooth movement. This study aimed to study the force degradation of elastomeric chains. Data and Sources: An electronic search on Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, LILACS, and PubMed was made, only articles written in English were included, up to January 2022.Study selection: Fifty original articles, systematic reviews, and RCTs were selected. Conclusion: Tooth movement, salivary enzymes, alcohol-containing mouthwash, whitening mouthwash, and alkaline and strong acidic (pH <5.4) solutions all have a significant impact on elastomeric chain force degradation. The force level of elastomeric chains degrades rapidly over time; however, the force degradation rate is slower in thermoset chains than in thermoplastic ones. An efficient tooth movement could be achieved by using a thermoset chain type with monthly replacement. Ethylene oxide and gamma sterilization methods are preferred to avoid the risk of cytotoxicity.


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Issa AR, Kadhum AS. Force degradation of orthodontic elastomeric chains: A literature review. J Bagh Coll Dent [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 15 [cited 2023 Sep. 23];34(4):51-8. Available from:
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