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.
- 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.