Since its inception, bonding of orthodontic brackets has made tremendous advances and continuous efforts are being made to find better bonding materials. The retentive strength of these brackets on the tooth surfaces has increased considerably with time, but bracket dislodgement is still a problem for orthodontists. Rather than choosing to replace the dislodged bracket with a new one, the clinician has the option of re-using the old bracket after subjecting it to a suitable method of refurbishing. To overcome the delays associated with commercial recycling, in-house methods have been developed. The in-house refurbishing methods employed in this study were the sandblasting method, thermal method, and adhesive removal by tungsten carbide bur and by Er:YAG laser. The Er:YAG laser technique has the highest refurbished shear bond strength, followed by the sandblasting method, thermal method, and the tungsten carbide method, which had the least shear bond strength value and is not fit for clinical usage. After refurbishing, the brackets were investigated by ESEM (Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope) to find out the effectiveness of the refurbishing methods. ESEM indicates that the adhesive removal was found to be almost complete with this group when compared to other groups.
Keywords: brackets, refurbishing, lasers