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May's Tip: Selecting the Correct Archwire

By; Dr. Bernardo “Coco” Garcia

By; Dr. Bernardo “Coco” Garcia


 One of the biggest concerns that we endure when we start our career in orthodontics is to know the archwires, their characteristics, composition, and use.

 Choosing the right archwire for each case can reduce the treatment time, improve patient comfort and lead to better results.

 First of all, remember that the bends that are made on the archwires can be of three types, of the first order, which are made to mobilize the tooth in a bucco-lingual horizontal direction; of the second order when they do so mesially and distally; and of the third order when it comes to root torque.  When these bends are required they should be made in a particular sequence, the first order first, followed by the third order and finally the second order.

 Two crucial aspects when selecting the correct archwire:

  •  Loading and unloading forces – The force corresponds to the degree of the effort needed to place the wire in the slot of the bracket prepared to host it.  The force of discharge is the energy the wire transfers to the tooth.

  • Compression – The Nitanium archwires keep their shape when they are compressed to provide a milder and more comfortable discharge force while gently returning to their original shape

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