For information regarding removing engagers, refer to the following:
The engager is made up of dental composite material, so a good general guideline for removing engagers, would be to use the same methods that you would use to remove composite from the tooth.
For removing engagers that are no longer necessary.
- Highspeed handpiece with water irrigation
- White stone or multi-fluted composite finishing burs
- Fine diamond burs
- Ceramic bracket remover pliers (optional)
Here are five different methods for removing engagers:
- Use a high speed handpiece with water irrigation and a multi-fluted composite finishing burr to grind off the composite. Most efficient method
- Start with a diamond or a more aggressive burr to remove the bulk of the composite (be careful to not damage the enamel) and then finish off with a multi-fluted finishing burr or a stone.
- Use your customary technique for polishing the enamel surface of the tooth.
- Use a series of diamond burs ranging from coarse to fine. Most expensive method
- Use "ceramic bracket remover pliers" and white stone polishing burs, both found in almost all orthodontic supply catalogs. Least effective method
Checking if all the composite has been removed
A common technique is to drag a metal tipped instrument such as a scaler or an explorer over the tooth. Composite resin will be revealed as the material picks up marks from the metal instrument. This is a good practice not only for ensuring all the composite material is removed but also to prevent enamel damage, particularly when using diamond burs.
Alternatively, a lead pencil may be used to mark the composite. This technique works beautifully to better visualize small composite fragments left on the tooth.