By Suhail A. Khouri, DDS, St Louis

When I invented Bendistal pliers, the goal was to effectively bend superelastic wires without annealing. Since then, their functional use has changed. The successful use of these pliers led me to develop what I call The V-Bend Technique, in which an orthodontist can place selectively located v-bends on archwires to activate them in the plane and orientation prescribed for various orthodontic corrections.

Originally, I used Bendistal pliers to cinch back superelastic wires, but later, I found they were useful when it came to bending and activating unbendable superelastic archwires, both intraorally and extraorally. The impact of applying the activating bends on these wires has been great. It allows these archwires to perform more beneficial mechanical functions, far beyond the function of initial teeth alignment.

Bendistal pliers easily place a permanent v-bend on superelastic archwires, activating them to deliver light and consistent forces on teeth until they achieve an effective correction, even on the most challenging orthodontic problems. V-bends can be used to address upper and lower incisors intrusion to correct deep overbites, as well as incisal Class III malocclusions. In addition, horizontal v-bends can successfully correct crossbites, while molar tip back bends can be done for molar anchorage. V-bends with Bendistal pliers can also be utilized for custom-making mushroom archwires for lingual orthodontics.

KouriFigure 1: V-bends placed on the archwires behind the canines intraorally to intrude upper and lower anterior segments of teeth. Figure 2: V-bends applied to the archwires on the upper and lower intruded incisors.

For one patient, whose pretreatment frontal view showed a severe deep overbite I treated using the v-bend technique. The 0.016″ round NiTi used for preliminary bracket alignment was later activated by placing the v-bends on the archwires behind the canines intraorally to intrude the upper and lower anterior segments of teeth, as shown in Figure 1.

For a second patient who presented with a severe incisal Class III malocclusion, I used v-bends on the archwires on the upper and lower intruded incisors and disengaged them, making it possible to retract the lower incisors (Figure 2). The result was a normal overjet and overbite.