Objective: This study compared the biofilm formation pattern on Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coated orthodontic brackets with that of uncoated ones. Methods: Fifteen teen aged patients were enrolled for eight weeks with their second premolar symmetrically bonded with uncoated and PTFE-coated orthodontic brackets. Upon completion, the elastomeric ligatures were deboned and removed. Rutherford backscattering detection (RBSD) method was adopted and the RBSD photographs were validated. Results: Analysis showed a total surface area of 21.7 ± 0.7 mm2 per bracket. The biofilm formation was noticed in 4.0 ± 3.6 % (0.9 ± 0.8 mm2) of the bracket surface in case of PTFE-coated brackets versus 22.2 ± 5.4 per cent (4.8 ± 1.2 mm2) on uncoated brackets and in case of PTFE-coated brackets highest amount of biofilm formation was evident in ‘mesial surfaces’ (6.58 ± 4.4 %) and the lowest on the occlusal surfaces (1.29 ± 1.2 %). The comparisons of the 2 interventions/procedures showed significant differences in all the 5 views (p=0.001 for all). Conclusion: The research findings suggest that coating the brackets with PTFE reduces biofilm adhesion to a larger extent and minimizes iatrogenic side effects.
Key words: Biofilm formation, Polytetrafluoroethylene coating, Orthodontic brackets, RBSD photographs.