SLOT SIZE AND BRACKET HOOKS
Average slot size
Sliding mechanics are a cornerstone of our technique. Ideally, when the preferred arch wire is .019 / .025, the slot size needs to be slightly larger than 0.022. Forestadent’s bracket production has permitted us greater than ever precision, and we’ve been able to design the Mini Sprint II range with an average slot size of 0.0227, which we see as ideal. It is preferable to 0.0220, which can lead to over-torquing of incisors and less effective sliding mechanics.
The 3% increase in slot size from .0220 to .0227 works really well, it has shown considerable improvement in results when tested extensively on our patients.
MB 5.0 – an improved hook design
Brackets produced for MB 5.0 have an improved design of hook, it is lower profile and much better for patients.
Integral bracket hooks are available as an option on all premolar and canine brackets. However, not all orthodontists use hooks on canines and premolars, and previously there have been concerns about discomfort and plaque control.
Brackets with or without hooks?
Opinion about hooks is divided. Some orthodontists feel they are essential on all cases for proper treatment mechanics, particularly up-and-down elastics at the end of treatment. Others view them as serious plaque traps that cause needless discomfort for the duration of the treatment – even though they may only be used for a few weeks.
When developing their technique, the authors chose not to use hooks and the published cases in their second and third books were successfully treated mostly without hooks. When needed, Kobyashi ties were added for a short period.
Brackets without hooks proved cleaner and more comfortable for the patient – better than having hooks in the mouth for 18 to 24 months.
The book ‘Fundamentals of Orthodontic Treatment Mechanics’ shows cases with bracket hooks, because at the time the authors were evaluating this option. Where possible, one author (RPM) generally prefers to have hooks only on canine brackets, but not premolars. The other author (JB) has reverted to having no hooks, as previously.
The average slot size is 0.0227, which is 3% larger than the classical 0.022, and works ideally with System 5.0 sliding mechanics.
The improved design of bracket hook with Mini Sprint II is lower proﬁle and better for patients.
In the past there have been concerns that hooks are uncomfortable for the patient and bring an added risk of decalciﬁcation due to plaque accumulation at the gingival margin. For those colleagues who use hooks, it is hoped that the new low-proﬁle design will be a big step forward.