Did you know that Orthodontists have been successfully bonding braces to teeth for over 45 years!! Before 1970 braces actually wrapped around every tooth, I bet some of you or your parents probably remember having braces like that. Some probably even remember the “TAPPER”. We have parents that come into the office and say how they hated the “TAPPER”, and when I tell them that we don’t use that anymore they look at their child and say you are lucky. Braces and the field of orthodontics have made great advancements since then. Direct bonding to teeth became a reality. And today here at Aleman, Sternstein and McDaniel Orthodontics we have been bonding brackets to teeth for over 35 years. During those 35 years we have worked to perfect the bonding experience and set up a protocol for each bonding appointment. We have found that the bonding success or failure starts with the tooth surface. The proper conditioning of the tooth’s surface is a variable that must be controlled when bonding a bracket with adhesive. A surface that is not conditioned properly or one that becomes contaminated will not produce satisfactory bond strength regardless of the materials used. We have also found that sometimes the bonding appointment can be a little intimidating to patients for the “fear of the unknown”. In order to calm some of these fears and alleviate some unanswered questions the following is a list of the steps involved in a bonding procedure:
o Teeth must be free of all plaque, calculus & food debris.
o Use of lip retractors & cotton rolls to keep the lips and tongue from contaminating the etched surfaces.
o An etching agent is brushed or dabbed for 15 seconds onto the enamel surface of each tooth to be bracketed.
o The etch will be then rinsed away.
o The etched surface will have a chalky appearance.
o A thin layer of Pro Seal should be uniformly applied over the etched surface.
o A small amount of adhesive will be applied to the back of the bracket and the bracket will be placed on the tooth surface. The doctor will position it properly and shine an LED light for 20 seconds per tooth to cure the bracket to the tooth surface.