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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the use of fixed appliances in the UK. DESIGN: Prospective postal questionnaire. SETTING: UK. PARTICIPANTS: All members of the General Dental Council Specialist List in Orthodontics still in active practice and not in training posts. METHOD: A preemptive letter of explanation was sent inviting orthodontists to participate in the survey. The questionnaire was subsequently posted to 935 specialists. Data analysis investigated differences in clinical practice related to varying provider groups, level of operator experience and geographical region. RESULTS: The response rate achieved was 66.3%. A majority of orthodontists routinely used the 0.022 inch pre-adjusted edgewise system, standard size Siamese pattern stainless steel brackets, conventionally ligated and bonded using standard etch and light cured composite. Nickel titanium and stainless steel were the most popular archwire materials. Anchorage was supported routinely by palatal and lingual arches in up to 25% and by headgear in over a third of respondents. Newer innovations showed variable popularity. Self-etching primer was used routinely by one-third of respondents with 11% use of self-ligating brackets. Banding of first molars was preferred by over 60% of clinicians. Bone screw implants were used by only 0.2% of respondents. Clinicians with less than 10 years experience used more headgear, light curing, MBT prescription and molar bonding. Operators with over 20 years experience used more chemically cured bonding, Roth prescription, banded first molars, 0.018 inch slot size and Tip-Edge(TM), with less use of headgear. Fixed appliance use differed from that reported in the US with lower use in the UK of standard edgewise and Roth systems, aesthetic, miniaturised and 0.018 inch slot brackets and rapid maxillary expansion. CONCLUSION: Most UK orthodontic specialists routinely used the 0.022 inch pre-adjusted edgewise system with standard size Siamese steel brackets bonded using standard etch and light cured composite with conventional ligation. Variations were seen between different provider groups, types of treatment funding, levels of operator seniority and geographical regions. Differences were noted particularly in the use of bracket prescription and design, types of molar attachment and anchorage control.

Original publication




Journal article


J orthod

Publication Date





43 - 55


Dental Alloys, Dental Bonding, Extraoral Traction Appliances, Humans, Orthodontic Anchorage Procedures, Orthodontic Brackets, Orthodontic Space Closure, Orthodontic Wires, Orthodontics, Practice Management, Dental, Professional Practice Location, State Dentistry, Surveys and Questionnaires, United Kingdom