July’s Tip

Orthodontic Loops in Straight Wire System, Part II Helical Loop

By Dr. Adrian J. Palencar, MUDr, MAGD, IBO, FADI, FPFA, FICD

July 2021

In this IAO Monthly Tip I will review simple application of Helical loop – space maintenance.

Neutral Space Maintainer

 I am certain that all members of the IAO are accustomed to early orthodontic treatment, in the deciduous or mixed dentition.  This often involves two stages of treatment.

  1. First stage – Functional orthodontics and alignment of anterior teeth
  2. Followed by retention until all permanent teeth erupt
  3. Second stage – SWA, only if required

Occasionally, the pause between the two stages is very small, when we are at the tail end of the mixed dentition. In such cases, two Helical loops abutted to the molar tubes fabricated on the arch wire (a. 018 or a .020) can be used as a space maintainer.


  1. Lace back the anterior teeth
  2. Fabricate a .018 or a .020 SS space maintainer with two Helical loops abutted to the molar tubes. Tie the arch wire to the brackets.  Do not place rectangular wire, it inhibits closure of root apices
  3. Heat treat (anneal) the ends of the arch wire and bend-back (cinch)

4. If the patient is uncomfortable, place “Tissue guard” on the arch wire


  1. Cerum Ortho Organizers catalogue; 168
  2. Ellchiro Nakajima, Manual of Wire Bending Techniques; 22 – 23
  3. Rondeau Seminars, Case Finishing manual; 121,