Aim: To compare friction (F) of conventional and ceramic brackets (0.022-inch slot) using a model that tests the sliding of the archwire through 10 aligned brackets. Methods: Polycrystalline alumina brackets (PCAs), PCA brackets with a stainless steel slot (PCA-M), and monocrystalline sapphire brackets (MCS) were tested under elastic ligatures using various archwires in dry and wet (saliva) states. Conventional stainless steel brackets were used as controls. Results: In both dry and wet states, PCA and MCS brackets expressed a statistically significant higher F value with respect to stainless steel and PCA-M brackets when combined with the rectangular archwires (P < .01). PCA brackets showed significantly higher friction than MCS brackets (P < .01) when coupled with 0.014 × 0.025-inch nickel-titanium (Ni-Ti) archwire. SEM analysis showed differences in the surfaces among stainless steel, MCS, PCA-M, and PCA brackets. In the wet state, the mean F values were generally higher than in the dry state. Conclusion: PCA brackets showed significantly higher F than MCS brackets only when combined with 0.014 × 0.025-inch Ni-Ti archwires. Thus, in this study, a 10 aligned-brackets study model showed similar results when compared to a single bracket system except for friction level with 0.014 × 0.025-inch Ni-Ti archwires. World J Orthod 2010;11:e133–e144.
Key words: friction, ceramic brackets, dry and wet state, polycrystalline alumina brackets, monocrystalline sapphire brackets