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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: ORTHODONTICS
ORTHODONTICS
The Art and Practice of Dentofacial Enhancement

Formerly World Journal of Orthodontics

Edited by
Rafi Romano, DMD, MSc (Editor-in-Chief)

ISSN 2160-2999 (print) / ISSN 2160-3006 (online)

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Publication:
Summer 2004
Volume 5 , Issue 2

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Separation Effect and Perception of Pain and Discomfort from Two Types of Orthodontic Separators

Lars Bondemark, DDS, Odont Dr/Katarina Fredriksson, DDS/Susanna Ilros, DDS

Pages: 172–176
PMID: 15615136

Aim: To examine two types of orthodontic separators, focusing on the separating effect and patients’ perception of pain and discomfort. Methods: The separators tested were springtype and elastomeric separators. Thirty teenagers participated, and all were scheduled for treatment with a fixed orthodontic appliance. Two spring-type and two elastomeric separators were placed alternately in the left or the right quadrant. After a separation period of 5 days, the amount of separation was measured with a leaf gauge. Nine questionnaires with visual analogue scales and questions with fixed answers were used to register the patient perceptions. Results: The mean separation was 0.3 mm for the spring-type and 0.4 mm for the elastomeric separators (P  .05). The springs were considered less painful than the elastomerics, but the difference was not statistically significant. For both separators, the pain was worst at day 2 and subsided almost completely by day 5. Due to pain, 14 of the 30 patients changed their food habits, and 13 took analgesics. Conclusions: The separation effect of the two separators was considered clinically equivalent and since pain of moderate intensity occurs during the separation period, analgesics and soft food can be recommended. World J Orthod 2004;5:172–176.

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