Patients continue to demand clear aligner treatment. That means orthodontists need to have the proper tools to make sure they can offer efficient and successful aligner treatment to give patients their dream smiles. Orthodontic Products reached out to James Lee, director at DB Orthodontics, San Diego, Calif, to talk about their Ixion line of aligner pliers and how they can help orthodontists avoid the need for further refinements.
Orthodontic Products: How important are the right aligner pliers for clear aligner treatment?
James Lee: The popularity of clear aligner treatments continues to grow as more patients than ever are favoring the esthetic option over brackets. This sparks orthodontists’ drive to treat more complex cases and to push the boundaries within aligner technology. Along the way, even in the simpler cases, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and during the final assessment treatment stage, the usual suspects such as incomplete rotations, unexpected alignment, insufficient arch expansion, or interproximal reduction (IPR) can make an appearance.
In cases requiring a minor change, aligner pliers may offer a simple and convenient solution. Minimizing the need for further impressions, lab time, or appointments, aligner pliers are perfect for rotations, minor tipping (torque) movements, buccal/lingual movements, extra retention on aligners and retainers where the patient has short clinical crowns, and when flat buccal and lingual surfaces are present.
Lee: Ixion aligner pliers are elegant and streamlined, and are perfect for use with any aligner system such as Invisalign or ClearCorrect. All clinicians can enjoy the trademark comfort, streamlined design, and precision engineering Ixion offers in a beautifully simple yet effective aligner plier instrument.
Ixion aligner pliers are especially versatile as they feature narrow tips for easier access into narrow and thin anterior teeth, particularly lower anterior aligners. They require no heat and are designed to prevent distortion of the aligner.
OP: What role does a torque aligner plier play?
Lee: The Torque Aligner Plier handles perfectly the material flexibility at the gingival margins, where achieving torque sometimes may be challenging. It creates a horizontal indentation of 0.75 mm by 1.5 mm and creates a force point for individual lingual or labial root torque, depending on where the indentation is placed. In addition, force application at the gingival margin can assist in the retention of aligners and retainers.
OP: What is the benefit of having a rotation plier?
Lee: Rotational control with aligners can often prove challenging due to the lack of surface contact area between aligner and tooth, particularly on laterals. The Rotation Plier creates a vertical indentation and force point of 0.75 mm by 1.5 mm on the tooth surface to ease the rotational movement.
OP: How is a retention plier essential?
Lee: A Retention Plier is used on the gingival margin at the interdental papilla to create a circular indentation of 1 mm for increased retention of aligners and retainers. This may be an essential requirement for teeth with short clinical crowns, and for flat buccal and lingual surfaces where retention is challenging.
OP: What’s ahead for your clear aligner pliers line?
Lee: Demand for clear aligners is only increasing, and aligner pliers have become an essential part of the orthodontist’s instrument inventory. With the Torque, Rotation, and Retention Pliers available, and we are now in development on two more instruments: the Hole Punch and Hook Forming Plier. These instruments will give clinicians the ability to complete a variety of cases easily and simply. OP