The purpose of this in vivo study was to compare the morphology of the enamel surfaces before bracket bonding and 6 and 12 months after debonding. Replicas of thirty-two maxillary second premolars of 16 volunteers were made before bracket bonding (T0), after debonding (T1), 6 months (T2), and 12 months (T3) later. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the labial enamel surfaces were taken at T0, T1, T2, and T3 at increasing magnifications and analyzed according to the enamel damage index EDI. Data evaluation by using Friedman test followed by Wilcoxon signed ranks test with Bonferroni adjustment did not reveal statistically significant differences in the mean EDI at T0, T2, and T3, whereas the mean EDI at T1 was significantly higher than at T0, T2, and T3 (p < 0.05). The debonding procedure tested in this study produces no clinically relevant enamel damage. These alterations are reversible indeed, as a progressive restoration to pretreatment condition is evident after 6 months already and even more after 12 months. SCANNING 37:322-326, 2015.
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