If there is one day orthodontic patients most look forward to, it's debonding day. And while it may be the messiest procedure on the schedule, orthodontists have found a number of tools that both ensure great results and make the experience as comfortable as possible for patients. We asked orthodontists what tool is most important to them on debonding day. Here's what they had to say.
The handpiece! Certainly, I am being a little cheeky here, but I firmly believe that minimal artistic enamelplasty go a long way to creating spectacular smiles.
—Neal D. Kravitz, DMD, MS
South Riding, Va, and White Plains, Md
An electric high-speed handpiece. The advantage of constant torque at low rpm reduces the cold air sensitivity, uncomfortable vibration from typical handpieces, and provides a smoother finish when polishing the enamel.
—S. Jay Bowman, DMD, MSD
For 36 years, I have used an Ortho-Pli angulated orthodontic bracket removing plier. These pliers have tips that appear like two claws with sharp tips that can be placed solidly against the tooth surface. I then carefully stabilize the tooth with my fingers—I squeeze the pliers together with a slight twisting motion. I always make sure the tooth has never had endodontic treatment or has a large composite restoration. Endodontic treated teeth and teeth with large composite restorations can fracture during any attempts to remove the bonded bracket.
—Michael C. Alpern, DDS, MS
Port Charlotte, Fla
The most useful debonding tool I use is an old, dulled, pin and ligature cutter. Although it is not useful to cut ligatures anymore, it can easily squeeze metal brackets to debond them from the tooth. As well, when debonding ceramic brackets, I often have to trough around the edge of the bracket with a finishing bur, thereby creating an edge at the bracket base. The cutter can then grab the edge and easily debond the bracket, with little fracture of the bracket and with no damage to the tooth.
—Howard A. Fine, DMD, MMSc
Mount Kisco and Katonah, NY
One or two visits prior to our debands we will place rectangular braided archwires with vertical elastics to sock the teeth into their final occlusion. The rectangular wire helps to prevent tipping while the properties of the braided wire allow the forces of the elastics to extrude the desired teeth into a nice final position.
—Herbert Hughes, DMD