Anyone who had fixed metal braces as a child will remember the pain when the end of the archwire would dig into your gum or the side of your mouth. A decade ago, the method for dealing with this was to use balls of wax which you could mould around the end of the offending wire to protect yourself.
However, this was often ineffective as it could easily be dislodged and was difficult to position. When DB Orthodontics approached CMG Technologies, it was to help them find a better solution for this issue of rubbing.
For such a sensitive area of the mouth, the solution to this chaffing needed to be ergonomic and intricate. CMG’s Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) technology allows us to design and produce metal components for specific uses that consider the needs and comfort of the end user.
We created a cover for the end of the brace archwire which is the size of a full stop. The piece can be securely positioned onto the end of the archwire to stop the wire from painfully rubbing against the inside of the wearer’s mouth.
What is CMG’s input?
The material that we used to create this pioneering product was Stainless Steel 17-4, a metal renowned for its combination of supreme strength and sound mechanical properties at temperatures of up to 600°F.
Using this material, we adjusted the mix of metal to develop an arch-shaped cover. This piece was small enough to be easily fitted to the archwire and durable enough to be adjusted without breaking.
Rachel Garrett, Managing Director of CMG Technologies, said:
“CMG Technologies is delighted to have helped DB Orthodontics solve an age-old issue with our MIM process.
We know that wearing braces can be uncomfortable, so to use our application of this great technology to alleviate some of that discomfort makes this an especially satisfying project to have worked on.”
We have forged a fantastic working relationship with DB Orthodontics. They knew exactly what they needed from this product and placed great trust in our expertise to deliver a product that has been extremely successful in the dental sector.”
Anna Dyson, Quality Research and Development Manager at DB Orthodontics said:
“We’re extremely pleased with our partnership with CMG Technologies.
“They have been a very supportive supplier since day one, which is particularly useful due to the regulatory requirements needed for our product.
“We have always been happy with the service we receive from CMG, from the initial communication to the excellent quality of the end product.”
What is MIM?
CMG is one of the only manufacturers in the UK that offers MIM even though the method itself has been around since the 1970s.
It offers a manufacturing capability of producing precise, complex parts in large quantities in metal – and therefore greater design freedom than many other production processes.
It works by mixing metal powders with polymer binders to form a feedstock. This feedstock makes the mixture capable of being handled by plastic processing equipment before the “feedstock” is then burnt away, leaving behind a solid metal component.
This flexibility means you can integrate several elements into a single moulded net shape piece, incorporating texture, knurling, threads, lettering and company logos.
CMG is no stranger to making components for medical products. It manufactures 40,000 scalpels a month for the NHS and is part of the national effort to make critical parts for ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic.