Dr. Robert Fry is the founder of Fry Orthodontics in Kansas City. His expertise has benefited more than 30,000 cases throughout the course of his career.
The self-ligating bracket isn’t new. My first exposure to self-ligating brackets was as a resident at University of North Carolina. The concept just made sense! That early exposure piqued my professional curiosity and touched off a career-long search for the optimal self-ligating system. Over the years we’ve completed more than 10,000 cases using six different self-ligating systems including Ormco EdgeLok and Damon, the 3M Unitek SmartClip, SPEED brackets and the American Time. While they were all quality products, none of those fulfilled my expectations.
In 1995, I was a member of the alpha test team for the Damon appliance. After the introduction of the twin bracket by Dr. Dwight Damon in 1997, I converted my entire practice to the Damon system. While this totally passive system was better than anything I had previously used, we were vexed by several issues (tip, torque, finishing and others).
In 2004, we took on a test gauntlet of 50 cases using 2 active systems: In-Ovation R® (“R”), Time. We also tried 50 cases of another passive system: Smart Clip. After thorough testing (thorough finishing) we converted the entire practice to the GAC product line. “R” provided the passive benefit properties (quick alignment, arch development and leveling) when using round and square wires. The active properties (using rectangular archwires) improved efficiency of tip, torque and finishing. In essence, capturing the best properties of passive ligation in the early stages, and predictability (less wire bending) to finish.
We keep extensive data on each case treated. Since converting to “R”, we have seen dramatic improvements in treatment times, number of visits required, number of time units/visit, and emergencies. Certain difficult classes of cases used to take 28-30 months are now treated on average in under 18 months.
The In-Ovation R system is passive when needed, and active when wanted. In addition, “R” offered more flexibility of archwire selection. With passive systems a fairly strict archwire sequence is required. You are allowed with “R” to use a number of different treatment regimes (Roth, Cetlin, CCO, etc).
In addition to improved treatment effectiveness and efficiency, “R” offered two other distinct benefits:
1. The In-Ovation “R” system (including the clear In- Ovation C and the lingual In-Ovation L, archwires and buccal tubes), GAC offers one-stop shopping.
2. In 2006, we became a member of the GAC sponsored United Orthodontic Buying Group. The savings amounted to $84,900 over the previous year’s bracket/archwire costs.
Our satisfaction with In-Ovation R self-ligating system continues as we explore new approaches to effective and efficient treatment. No bracket system we have used can come close to matching its combination of performance, price and consistency. With the advent of new, high-tech wires, the results we are able to achieve continues to improve. The following case study is a good example of what’s possible with In-Ovation R, and why it remains my treatment delivery system of choice.
This article first appeared in 2013 OrthoWorld.