Research Article|Articles in Press

The mechanical testing and performance analysis of three-dimensionally produced lingual retainers

Published:January 16, 2023DOI:


      • Introducing three-dimensional (3D) printing has opened new visions in the orthodontic field.
      • This research evaluates three-dimensionally produced orthodontic retainers and their future possible uses.
      • Using both 3D-printed and 3D pen-produced retainers for orthodontics, several advantages can be obtained, such as less or no technician help, time saving, and decreased costs compared with the conventional method.
      • This is the first study evaluating the characteristics of these 3D methods.



      Introducing three-dimensional (3D) printing has opened new visions in the orthodontic field. This research evaluates three-dimensionally produced orthodontic retainers and their future possible uses. For this purpose, in vitro tests were performed for these groups, including bond strength, failure analysis, discoloration, and biodegradation.


      A total of 30 specimens (n = 30), lower incisor human teeth, were randomly divided into three groups for a bond strength failure analysis (for each group n = 10). In the experimental groups, lingual retainers were fabricated using 3D systems (group 1 with 3D dental pen and group 2 with 3D-printed). In the control group (group 3), the retainer system was a combination of a wire and composite, which is being used worldwide. A total of 30 specimens (n = 30) from the 3D dental pen and 3D-printed for discoloration and biodegradation tests were divided into three groups (water, tea, and coffee). Data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test, ANOVA, and chi-square test.


      For all parameters tested, significant differences were determined among groups. The 3D pen group had the highest score for bond strength, whereas discoloration differed significantly.


      According to the limitations of this research, 3D-printed retainers have the potential for clinical use in the near future.


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