Sliding mechanics have become a popular method for space closure, with the development of preadjusted edgewise appliances. Furthermore, various space closing auxiliaries have been developed and extensively evaluated for their clinical efficiency. Their effectiveness is enhanced with optimum force magnitude and low load deflection rate/force decay. With the advent of nickel-titanium (Ni-Ti) springs in orthodontics, load deflection rates have been markedly reduced. To use Ni-Ti springs, clinicians have to depend upon prefabricated closed coil springs. The open coil traction system, or open coil retraction spring, is developed utilizing Ni-Ti open coil springs for orthodontic space closure. This article describes the fabrication and clinical application of the open coil traction system, which has a number of advantages. It sustains a low load deflection rate with optimum force magnitude, and its design is adjustable for a desired length and force level. It is fail-safe for both activation and deactivation (ie, it cannot be overactivated, and the decompression limit of the open coil is controlled by the operator). The open coil traction system can be offset from the mucosa to help reduce soft tissue impingement. ORTHODONTICS (CHIC) 2012;13:e153–e161.
Key words: en masse retraction, extraction space closure, force generating auxiliary, open coil spring, retraction spring, sliding mechanics