Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Kenneth Wynne


The development of aesthetically unattractive white spots is a concern for patients undergoing fixed orthodontic treatment. Due to poor oral hygiene during treatment, accumulation of plaque around orthodontic brackets causes bacterial fermentation reactions producing acids that dissolve the mineral enamel. Such dissolution results in white spot formation, an early sign of dental caries. In principal, to inhibit the appearance of these spots during treatment, fluoridated elastomeric o-rings might be employed. Once placed around brackets, these o-rings should release fluoride therapeutically for at least 30 days, after which the orthodontist may replace them. At the present time, such fluoride-releasing o-rings are not available. In this study, model materials for fluoride-releasing elastomeric o-rings were developed. These materials were fluoride-impregnated poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) (PEVA) films. In vitro release studies of these films were conducted, assessing their capacity to deliver fluoride within therapeutic range (1.2 ≤ µg F/ring/day ≤ 51.4) for 30-45 days. Optimal sample and experimental parameters, including (1) fluoride loading in the film (wt% F), (2) overcoat thickness, and (3) temperature that provided therapeutic release, were determined. At 37°C, favorable release was observed for the following: (1) films with overcoat thickness of 0.14 mm and fluoride loadings of 3.9 wt% and 5.7 wt% and (2) films with overcoat thickness of 0.27 mm and fluoride loading of 5.7 wt%. These results are important in providing fundamental guidance for the development of o-rings that combat white spot formation among orthodontic patients.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2009