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Orthodontic Instruments


Dental Instruments > Orthodontic Instruments

Orthodontic instruments are used to prevent and treat irregularities with the teeth and jaws. There are two types of orthodontic appliances: fixed and removable. Fixed orthodontic appliances, such as braces and palate expanders, are fixed to the teeth, and comprise a combination of bands, brackets, and wires.

Removable orthodontic appliances can be removed by the wearer, and include expansion appliances and retainers. They are typically made from a combination of acrylic and stainless steel clasps and springs.

orthodontist with adolescent patient
Orthodontist and Adolescent Patient with Orthodontic Instruments

Separating Pliers

This tool is used to grab and place elastic separators around the contact area of the tooth. These single-ended instruments have a handle that is adapted for a palm grasp.

Johnson Contouring Pliers

Johnson contouring pliers re-contour an orthodontic band to a tooth. To facilitate re-contouring, one beak is concave, while the other is convex.

Bracket Placement Pliers

Bracket placement pliers hold and carry brackets, so they can be placed on the tooth for bonding.

Arch Wire Pliers

There are several different types of pliers used with arch wire. Some, like arch-bending pliers, are used to bend arch wires, while others, such as tweed loop-forming pliers, are designed to bend and form loops in arch wire. Other types of pliers used with orthodontic wire include ligature pliers, three-prong pliers, bird-beak pliers, Howe pliers, and Weingart utility pliers.

Orthodontic Scaler

Orthodontic scalers can be used for many different duties during the orthodontic process, including placing brackets, checking for loose bands and brackets, and removing separators, elastic ligature ties, and excess cement and bonding material.

Orthodontic Hemostat

The orthodontic hemostat is another versatile tool. It can be used to hold and press separators, or to hold, place, or tie ligatures to arch wire.

Band Pusher

The band pusher is used to put orthodontic bands into place, and can also be used to adapt the coronal portion of the band to the tooth.

Band Seater or Plugger with Scaler

This tool is used to place bands during the try-in and cementing phases, and also removes excess cement or bond.

Ligature and Wire Cutters

Once the ligature has been tied to arch wire, it can be cut with ligature or wire cutters. This tool can also be used to remove arch wire.


When it comes to removing fixed orthodontics, a variety of tools are used including posterior band removers, bracket removers, and adhesive-removing pliers.
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Dental Instruments > Orthodontic Instruments