By Ma. Bernardita Cham, DDM

The 10th APO general meeting this October did it again as it delivered to its eager participants a landmark topic that did not all disappoint. Dr. Shen Hasegawa, a seasoned orthodontist, researcher of bone science, mentor, and a saxophonist from Nagoya Japan, is the brilliant mind behind this Gummetal technology. With his collaboration with the scientists and engineers from the R and D department of Toyota, what started as a material for golf clubs, bolts, tennis racquets and artificial bone, orthodontists now have on their hands Gummetal, a wonder wire that eclipses the top qualities of all the wires combined available in the orthodontic market today.

The general characteristics of Gummetal wires that make it stand out are its ultra low elastic modulus giving it less toughness but is uniquely combined with ultra high tensile strength. Its super elasticity makes it 10x more elastic than other metals giving it a property of attaining a true elastic deformation with no transformation. It can be bent/cold worked many times as its superplasticity is 99.9% .There is no work hardening allowing no changes to be seen upon bending and it has a rubber like consistency. Surely, in clinical orthodontics whatever can simplify and shorten treatment time is a God sent. And these “super properties “ of the gummetal wire can do exactly just that!

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Treatment protocol which starts with 3rd molar extraction, uses two wires, an 016 round and an 18×022 Gummetal wire. The round wire is used for leveling that prepares the occlusion to easily receive the next 018 by 022 gummetal wire. This wire incorporates a prescribed tip back, torque, and toe in that delivers a “row boat” effect that results to what Dr. Hasegawa terms as an “en bloc” movement. This uprights premolars and molars, distal drives it, and thus allowing anterior discrepancy resolution. The altered occlusal plane allows the mandibular rotation that resolves the skeletal discrepancy.

As it is super in its physical properties, it is not surprising therefore that its application in orthodontics is just as extensive as well. Apart from correcting Class 1 ,2,3 and mandibular lateral displacements, it has varying gauges that can be used to fabricate appliances.

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The Frosch is a functional appliance incorporating a gummetal wire which creates a force that can be used to modify growth and resolve dental discrepancies. It can be used as an overlay, Mulligan’s arch type, to expand anterior intercanine width, and as a coffin type expander with fixed attachments on the 6’s to resolve posterior constriction. It can be used as a utility wire whose action/reaction forces can be maximized to address anterior and posterior as well as lateral discrepancies. It can also be incorporated in durasoft and imprelon material to deliver a force system that corrects class III open bites and Class II div 1 deep bite cases.

It is so revolutionary, that one cannot help but be just so excited with all its promising possibilities. Thanks Toyota, and we salute “The Master”, Dr. Shen Hasegawa!