November’s Tip

Peripherals in Straight Wire System Back to Basics Part X Orthodontic Separators (Spacers)-Continued

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

November 2022

The basic materials the Orthodontic Separators are fabricated from, elastomer (latex free), brass, stainless steel, and nickel titanium.  The author has experience only with elastomeric and brass separators.

Single Separators: they are radio-opaque, hold elasticity, and made from absorption-free elastomeric material.  They have good visibility and are easy to place.  However, they may disappear sub-gingivally.   Therefore, it is prudent to verify their presence, in case the patient reports loss of the separator

Dumbbell Separators: they can be stretched and slipped between the contact points for in-office separations.  Contracting action of separators achieves ample separation for placing bands within minutes.

Safe-T-Separators: theyhave a knob on either side of each ring. These knobs prevent the separators from submerging into the sub-gingival area.  They are available in two styles: standard (purple) and slim (blue).  Each comes in the star shaped sticks.

Preformed Brass Separating Wire: their preformed feature allows rapid placement.  The flat end permits easy insertion from the lingual to the buccal with extra extension for twisting with a Mathieu needle holder.  This wire is available in two sizes: a .025 and a .020.

Nitanium Separating Springs: these provide light consistent force for optimum space opening in minimum time.  Nitanium separating springs offer maximum comfort; they are easy to place and simple to remove.  They are available in two sizes: small (bicuspids) and large (molars).

Kesling Spring Separators: these are fabricated from stainless steel and have a double helical loop incorporated for springiness. The separators are inserted with Bird beak or Long beak pliers, and then by pushing down, the spring opens.  After releasing from the pliers, the separator clicks in interdentally. 



  1. Rondeau Seminars, Level I, Session 2; 61
  2. Cerum Ortho Organizers Catalogue; 160, 172
  3. Author’s personal PP presentations