A new study from researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University has found that the majority of orthodontists (73%) responding to a survey have been using self-ligating brackets (SLBs) for 2 to 10 years, and most respondents (76%) became comfortable with SLBs after treating fewer than 30 cases, according to an article on DrBicuspid.com.

The findings showed, however, that 36% of respondents who had used SLBs reported that they no longer use them or were planning to stop using them. Of those who stopped using SLBs, the majority indicated that the lack of noticeable advantages did not justify the expanded inventory and increased costs.

The researchers further found that more orthodontists preferred SLBs during the initial stage of treatment, due to the shorter adjustment appointments and faster initial treatment progress they provided. However, 64% of respondents preferred conventional brackets during the finishing and detailing stages of treatment. In terms of cost-effectiveness, 68% preferred conventional brackets over SLBs because they were cheaper and resulted in fewer emergency appointments.

The authors of the study developed and distributed the survey to 430 orthodontists.

The study appears in The Angle Orthodontist.

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