Proffit WR, Fields HW, Sarver DM. Contemporary Orthodontics 5th edn.St Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2013
Umesan UK, Ahmad W, Balakrishnan P. Laryngeal impaction of an archwire segment after accidental ingestion during orthodontic adjustment. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2012; 142:264-268

Tricks of the Trade: Secure Spring Separators

From Volume 12, Issue 1, January 2019 | Page 37


Vidhi Vatsala


Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics, SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospitals, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

Articles by Vidhi Vatsala

Roopak D Naik


Reader, Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics, SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad – 580 009 Karnataka, India

Articles by Roopak D Naik

Anand K Patil

BDS, MDS, MOrth RCS(Edinb)

Professor and Head, Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, SDM College of Dental Sciences, Sattur, Dharwad, Karnataka 580009, India

Articles by Anand K Patil


Accidental aspiration or ingestion of orthodontic materials is a common problem among patients and a major concern for orthodontists. It may lead to unnecessary medical emergencies and further, more serious, consequences. Spring separators are often used by practitioners to bring about tooth separations. In order to avoid misplacement after separation, a simple and economic technique has been devised which is comfortable for both patients and orthodontists.

Spring separators are commonly used devices in daily practice for tooth separation, especially in a patient with tight tooth contacts. From a patient's perspective, these are easy to tolerate, both when being placed or removed and as they separate the teeth. They have an obvious advantage over elastomeric separators, which are difficult to insert, are radiolucent and can give rise to a series of problems if they are lost in the interproximal space.1

However, a major drawback of these separators is that they tend to become loose and may fall out as they accomplish their purpose. Sometimes, it may happen without the notice of the patient and may pose a threat of aspiration or ingestion, which can be the cause of a medical emergency.2

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