Self-ligation in the year 2000, a comparative assessment of conventional ligation and self-ligation bracket systems.

Berger J. Journal of Clinical Orthodontics 2000.

Objective

A retrospective assessment of clinical studies relating to the effectiveness and efficiencies of self-ligating brackets as compared with conventionally ligated straightwire appliances.

Methodology

More than twenty published articles/clinical studies were analyzed.

Findings

  • Self-ligating brackets were found to provide greater patient comfort, shorter treatment time, reduced chair time and more precise control of tooth translation.
  • Self-ligating brackets demonstrate dramatically less friction. Such reduction in friction can help shorten overall treatment time, especially in extraction cases.
  • The authors of several studies reported an average of four months reduction in treatment time and a significant savings of chair time in changing archwires.
  • Self-ligation reduces the risks of percutaneous injury. It also protects the patient from soft-tissue lacerations and possible infections from the cut ends of steel ligatures.
  • Elastomeric ligatures not only show a rapid rate of decay and deformation, but they are often associated with poor oral hygiene. With the elimination of ligatures, self-ligating appliances can significantly improve the hygiene of all patients.

Conclusion

"As more orthodontic practices embrace the concept of self-ligation, it is becoming apparent that stainless steel and elastomeric ligatures will eventually be as outdated as full banding is today. Considering the advantages of self-ligating brackets for the clinician, staff, and patient, they (self-ligating appliances) may well become the 'conventional' appliance systems of the 21st century."