When I started my orthodontic office ten years ago, efficiency wasn’t top of mind. I wanted to establish my business and provide a high degree of care. Yet, efficiency benefits the clinician, staff and, ultimately, the patient. Providing consistent results with quicker application times motivates me and my staff to utilize 3M products. As my practice has grown, the importance of efficiency and consistency in our protocols has, too.
Initially, we used different bracket systems from different companies. All systems required the operator to apply adhesive prior to placement on the tooth. With limited staff in a startup office, the operator often acted as an assistant and placed brackets. We struggled to consistently apply the same amount of adhesive and keep patients on a timely schedule.
Variability in steps also meant a greater number of bond failures were possible – especially as the office grew. We needed to decrease the number of steps in the bonding process and the number of debonding failures, while also achieving more consistent results amongst a larger pool of operators.
Consequently, I became more interested in the 3M™ APC™ Adhesive Coated Appliance System. Brackets with APC Adhesives have helped my office become more efficient in several ways. From an operations perspective, we’ve simplified ordering with precoated brackets. We no longer need to order adhesives separately to ensure we have enough on hand, which helps to streamline and manage inventory. Since each bracket comes with the exact amount of adhesive, we have less adhesive waste and no flash to remove.
Additionally, since each bracket comes precoated, we can complete most bonding with only a single operator. It’s helped reduce our bonding time and allowed our assistants to aid in other clinic tasks. When we combine the placement of brackets with the use of 3M™ Transbond™ Plus Self Etching Primer, we have further reduced the issue of moisture contamination, which also strengthens our bonding results. The Transbond Plus Primer combines etching and bonding into a single step. It helps reduce contamination of the bonding surface from saliva or other forms of moisture and helps to create a strong bond between the tooth, adhesive and bracket base.
The beauty of the APC system lies in the simplicity of the packaging. All brackets come packaged in boxes, reducing the number of people who handle the brackets and run the risk of contamination prior to placement. When brackets are setup prior to placement, they are displayed on plastic racks that the patient can see. This gives them confidence in the product that will be used to create their beautiful smile.
Increasingly, more patients and jurisdictions demand better infection control techniques. Patients appreciate seeing the opening of blister pack bracket packaging, because it affirms that the office takes their cross-contamination concerns seriously. The APC System has been instrumental in helping us reduce the number of bond failure emergencies we have experienced. Since we control the distribution of adhesive on each bracket, we can be sure that all operators utilize consistently similar bracket placement techniques. Many of our patients don’t have time in their busy schedules to deal with bond failures and the subsequent loss of time needed to repair them.
Overall, I have been very pleased with our decision to adopt this innovative system. My patients and staff appreciate the benefits of 3M products, and it has helped us to deliver quality care in an efficient, streamlined manner. To me, that’s something worth smiling about.
Dr. Richard Fernandes is an orthodontist at Fernandes Orthodontics located in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Dr, Fernandes completed his Dental Degree at Columbia University and then completed his Certificate of Orthodontics and his Master’s in Dental Public Health at Boston University. He has had the privilege of providing orthodontic lectures at both home and abroad. Most recently, he had the opportunity to lecture in Ethiopia at the University of Addis Ababa. In his spare time, Dr. Fernandes enjoys traveling, skiing and spending time with his family.
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