Article: Volume 11 Number 2 Page 61 - April 2018

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  Orth Update 2018; 11: 61-66

Orthodontics:  Separators: A Review of Uses and Limitations

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Abstract: Orthodontic separators (commonly known as spacers) are elastomeric or metal auxiliary appliances, which are often used in Orthodontics to create space between teeth and allow fitting of an orthodontic band. Separators can also be used to create space for other reasons such as to facilitate interdental reduction. This paper describes common uses and a variety of other purposes that can be achieved with the separator including: management of ectopic teeth; the creation of attachments on teeth; uprighting molars and detection of cavitated carious lesions. Separators have many benefits, however, they can cause discomfort and also periodontal problems if they remain dislodged beneath the contact point.

Clinical relevance: Orthodontic separators can be used for a variety of clinical situations by both Orthodontists and General Dental Practitioners alike as a useful adjunct in the dental armamentarium.

Author notes: Devaki Patel, BDS, MFDS RCS(Ed), MSc (UoK), DCT in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Royal Surrey County Hospital (previous), Specialty Registrar (ST2) in Orthodontics (present), Suhaym Mubeen, BDS, MFDS RCS(Ed), MOrth RCS(Ed), Specialist Registrar in Orthodontics and Nigel Taylor, BDS, FDS RCS, MDSc, MOrth RCS, Orthodontic Consultant at Royal Surrey County Hospital, Egerton Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XX, UK.

Objective: To describe a variety of uses for different types of separators and to consider possible risks. Enhanced CPD DO C

Kavo Kerr