With the introduction of DENTSPLY GAC’s new Copperloy™ family of archwires, we decided to take a fresh look at Copper Nickel-Titanium archwires, how Copper NiTi differs from the standard Nickel Titanium wire and what these differences mean when it comes to treatment.
The Sentalloy wire that many are familiar with is a binary Nickel Titanium alloy, meaning it’s made up of two elements. The weight of these two elements is about the same. Copper NiTi wire, like the new Copperloy from DENTSPLY GAC, is essentially a tertiary alloy, meaning it contains three main elements. Copperloy is basically equal parts Nickel and Titanium, with six percent copper.
While it may not seem like a lot, that small amount of copper is a game changer. That’s because Copper NiTi has some inherent performance differences when compared to traditional Nickel-Titanium.
Copper NiTi wires are selectively heat-treated which results in offering several transition temperatures to choose from, depending on your needs and preferences. The addition of copper also allows for easier wire placement and containment, especially in extreme deflections. In an informal survey, the majority of doctors reported that copper NiTi is better at expressing the final segments of treatment, especially when it comes to subtle rotation and minor tooth movements.
Of course, most clinicians who have used a Copper NiTi wire are quick to mention the in-the-hand feeling of the wire. It feels more flexible and a little easier to work with. This added malleability is the result of the inclusion of the copper, which is a softer metal than both nickel and titanium. Scientifically, this means the copper wire has lower loading forces. Which is a complex way of saying it feels softer and makes for easier ligation of the wire.
If you’ve never worked with a copper archwire, the introduction of Copperloy™ NiTi offers you an outstanding opportunity to put it to the test. In the end, you can expect your Copperloy NiTi wire to exhibit:
• Consistent and complete expression of force, even across very subtle movements.
• Easier engaging properties, especially in the most severe cases.
• More stringent resistance to permanent deformation when working at extreme angles.
Of course, archwire selection is still a decision based on preference. Some clinicians will prefer the performance of traditional NiTi or some other specialty wires. This decision is also made on a case-to-case basis. Over the last few years, there have been tremendous advancements when it comes to making Nickel Titanium wire more thermal, easier to ligate and more resistant to permanent deformation. Plus it should be pointed out that Copper NiTi typically comes with a slightly higher price-point.
Whatever archwire you prefer, with the addition of the new Copperloy NiTi archwire, DENTSPLY GAC now has one of the most comprehensive portfolios of products to choose from.
This article published in 2013 OrthoWorld.