Jeff Smith, director of sales and marketing at American Orthodontics, points out the advantages of aesthetic brackets.

OP What is the LP system?

Smith: The LP system is a complete system of reduced-size brackets and tubes engineered to perfectly complement each other. LP brackets are smaller facial-lingually, mesial-distally, and occlusal-gingivally. This reduced size provides better aesthetics, more patient comfort, reduced occlusal interference, better hygiene, and easier bonding on partially erupted teeth. Despite their reduction in size, LP brackets are still easy to bond, easy to ligate, and offer excellent tooth control.

 Their color-coded indents on the facial surface make quadrant identification a snap and allow for accurate bonding positioning using a scaler. A uniquely designed tweezer efficiently grips special indents to simplify bonding at the posterior. The funneled mesial entrance greatly facilitates archwire insertion.

LP brackets and direct-bond LP tubes feature the new Maximum Retention (MR) bonding pad, which combines a photo-etched pad with an optimal 80-gauge mesh. The photo-etched pockets under the mesh increase surface area and capture cement, increasing mechanical retention.

OP Give a brief cost/benefit analysis of your aesthetic brackets.

Smith: American offers four styles of clear brackets: ceramic with and without a metal slot, and plastic with and without a metal slot. All four of these styles feature mechanical retention bonding bases and are 100% nickel-free. Today’s reinforced plastic brackets offer a cosmetic option at a lower cost than ceramic, in a material strong enough to allow excellent results balanced with enough resiliency to protect enamel from occlusal forces. Ceramic brackets offer superior aesthetics and strength, with a reliable, consistent bonding base. The metal slot option on both ceramic and plastic brackets improves sliding characteristics in the slot and gives additional strength to plastic brackets. American offers two choices of gold brackets: a bracket plated with 24 K gold and a zirconia nitride “white” gold.   Lingual brackets offer the ultimate in aesthetics. American’s Stealth lingual brackets are virtually invisible and maximize comfort, control, and reliability.  

While cosmetic brackets cost from 50% to 250% more than regular stainless steel brackets, practitioners easily recoup the increased cost through higher treatment fees. For many patients, the cosmetic benefits of aesthetic brackets are worth the higher cost. Practitioners also benefit from cosmetic appliances, because giving patients a cosmetic option shows them that the office is progressive and wants to offer them the latest treatment choices.

Small is Beautiful

JanDoorschodt:, the general manager of Dentaurum Inc, discusses products that combine aesthetics and efficiency.

OP You recently introduced what you call “the smallest bracket in the world.” What are the advantages of this for orthodontists and their patients?

Doorschodt: In December 2004, Dentaurum introduced equilibrium® mini, the smallest bracket in the world. These brackets have the least VSI (ViSual Impact) of any bracket in the world. This rating indicates just how unnoticeable the bracket is on the tooth.

The equilibrium mini bracket is made of 316 L medical-grade stainless steel. It is a one-piece construction (no solder) with a laser-etched bracket base, and it has laser-identification marking. Besides the fact that it is the smallest bracket in the world, it also has super-rounded edges for even more enhanced patient comfort. It offers a .30 slot depth to bring the archwire closer to the tooth for the best transfer of force and thus greater efficiency, allowing for shorter treatment time and less chair time.

Ceramic aesthetic brackets are pretty expensive and, unfortunately, do not offer the orthodontist the ideal combination of bracket strength, convenience, and efficiency. That is why Dentaurum developed equilibrium mini, offering the patient the best aesthetics in steel brackets without technical or mechanical treatment compromises for the orthodontist. We expect equilibrium mini to be an excellent practice builder for the orthodontist.

OP You also have a new micro implant screw. What makes this different from other screws on the market?

Doorschodt: In close collaboration with Axel Bumann, DDS, PhD, who has a private practice in Berlin, Germany, and is also a clinical professor at the University of Southern California, we have developed a new orthodontic micro implant/pin.

This new product is called the TOMAS (Temporary Orthodontic Mini Anchorage System) pin. The major indications are distalization or mesialization; uprighting of molars; intrusion of teeth, allowing for sliding mechanics in class II cases; and avoiding protrusion of incisors. It allows for a tooth-saving treatment, avoiding extractions. It is also excellent for preprosthetic treatments.

The application of our TOMAS pin is very easy and is only minimal invasive. One of the TOMAS pin’s several benefits is its hex slot head. This offers the unique opportunity to use the pin as a bracket slot. The product is made out of pure titanium and will be delivered in sterile packaging.

The TOMAS pin has been very successful since it was introduced in Europe. Its introduction in the United States will start immediately after we receive FDA approval for the product, as well as for the aforementioned indications. Hopefully, we’ll receive it before the AAO in May this year, so we may launch the TOMAS pin in our booth at the AAO.

OP What can your lingual appliance do for orthodontists and their patients?

Doorschodt: Another proof of our active and innovative R&D specialists in Germany is the Magic Lingual Appliance System, the only lingual appliance available made of cobalt chromium. It is nickel-free in accordance with ISO 6871-1. The shape of the brackets perfectly matches the contours of the lingual side of teeth. The bracket profile is very low, and the bracket surface is extremely smooth to maximize patient comfort.

The Magic Lingual Appliance System, unlike other systems, allows for easy and quick archwire insertion, since archwires are placed on the occlusal side of the bracket. There is no need for mirror-image working procedures. Another unique advantage is the special, angled slot for quick and easy archwire insertion.

The Magic Lingual Appliance System is the most complete system on the market, with a full range of specially designed “mushroom”-shaped archwires, a unique indirect bonding setup device, and specifically designed instruments.