Original Article

Nickel Release and the Viability of Streptococcus mutans Corresponding to Low Risk of Dental Caries in Artificial Saliva Containing Orthodontic Appliances: In Vitro Study


  • Serap Titiz
  • Zalike Keskin Erdoğan
  • Elif Esin Hames Tuna
  • Aynur Aras

Received Date: 12.07.2021 Accepted Date: 06.01.2022 Turk J Orthod 2022;35(3):157-165


The aims of this study were to determine the effect of different levels of Streptococcus mutans that correspond to a low risk of dental caries on nickel release and to determine the viability of S. mutans.


Simulated fixed orthodontic appliances composed of copper nickel titanium, nickel titanium, or stainless steel were immersed in Klimek artificial saliva for 10 days with or without S. mutans inoculation on day 7. Same levels of S. mutans cultures (4 × 104 cfu/mL) were inoculated into the artificial saliva without orthodontic appliances. Nickel release was detected by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The archwire surface was analyzed by atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.


The density of S. mutans significantly increased in the artificial saliva without orthodontic appliances (P < .05). Appliances with nickel titanium alloys showed higher nickel release in the artificial saliva with or without S. mutans than those with copper nickel titanium or stainless steel archwires (P < .05). However, S. mutans increased nickel release only in orthodontic appliances with stainless steel archwires (P < .05). Although atomic force microscopy showed that the surface of as-received stainless steel archwires was smoother than that of nickel titanium or nickel titanium archwires, S. mutans increased the surface roughness of only the SS archwires. S. mutans adhered to all archwire types.


While corrosion or corrosion-related processes may have decreased the growth capacity of S. mutans, reciprocally, S. mutans influenced corrosion. Rough surfaces can also promote corrosion; therefore, the surface roughness of metal alloy orthodontic appliances should be evaluated to determine their corrosion behavior.

Keywords: Corrosion, dental caries, nickel release, orthodontic appliance, risk, Streptococcus mutans