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M. Łępicka, M. Grądzka-Dahlke and I. Szarmach

Processes of destruction of products used in orthodontic treatment, e.g. fixed orthodontic appliances, microimplants or dental prostheses considerably limit its operational lifetime and comfort and safety of patients. The objective of the research was to evaluate and assess corrosion damage to silver-soldered stainless steel rapid palatal expansion Hyrax devices. Used in vivo for 2 or 6 months, respectively, RPE (rapid palatal expansion) devices were analyzed macroscopically and in a scanning electron microscope with an energy X-ray analyzer for signs of corrosion. The evaluated appliances showed discernible differences between the overall condition of the noble solders and the stainless steel elements. The Ag-rich solders were chiefly covered in corrosion pits, whereas stainless steel wires, molar bands and Hyrax screws presented corrosion-free surfaces. What is more, the EDS analysis showed differential element composition of the solders. According to the results, noble materials, such as Ag-rich solders, can corrode in a salivary environment when coupled with stainless steel. The selective leaching processes are observed.