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Active self-ligating systems

Note that fixed appliances that I use are the SPEED™ self-ligating system that you can see under the Appliances tab of our site.

However, the In-Ovation® C and QuicKlear® clear ceramic brackets are available for our patients who request them.

1- Active self-ligating systems

The majority of companies who provide conventional orthodontic appliances have developed self-ligating systems. Several versions were put on the market, but not all have had the commercial success of the SPEED™ brackets.

Thus, here is a non-exhaustive list of modern self-ligating brackets currently available.

In-Ovation® R and In-Ovation® C


BioQuick® and QuicKlear®

Nexus™ and Nexus Clear™

You will notice, by their appearance, that they look like the SPEED™ bracket, because they all have a clip with a little opening at the front. This says it all on the ingenuity of the SPEED™ brackets invented by the Canadian Dr G. Herbert Hanson.

In-Ovation R and In-Ovation C-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City

Dentsply GAC In-Ovation® R and In-Ovation® C

We can say that the majority of active self-ligating systems are a more or less successful copy of the SPEED™ brackets. Another similarity to note is the one with the twin bracket-like conventional systems (the four tie wings).

The disadvantage of such similarity with the twin bracket is that it is difficult, not to say impossible, to miniaturize the bracket. All other self-ligating systems are thus necessarily bigger and larger than the SPEED™ system.

Here are 2 smiles of patients wearing In-Ovation® C clear brackets. Notice that the wire or the clips, because they are made of metal, stay visible. The appearance is not always as discreet as what a patient can expect, mostly when it is necessary to use elastomeric chains during the treatment to close small interdental spaces.

In-Ovation C smile-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City

In-Ovation® C Brackets Smile

In-Ovation C smile-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City

In-Ovation® C Brackets Smile

QuicKlear brackets smile-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City

QuicKlear® Brackets Smile

This patient shown on the left chose the QuicKlear® brackets. The esthetic benefit, if it exists, comes from the fact that the metal clip is narrower than the one of the In-Ovation® C bracket.

American Orthodontics Empower-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City

American Orthodontics Empower™ bracket presents the same design as the Dentsply GAC In-Ovation® R bracket, because both companies have rights on the patent of the bracket.

Empower-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City


Ormco Nexus™ and Nexus Clear™ brackets are identical to the FORESTADENT® BioQuick® and QuicKlear® brackets because Ormco concluded a trade deal with FORESTADENT®.


FORESTADENT BioQuick and QuicKlear-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City

Ormco Nexus™ and Nexus Clear™-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City

QuicKlear bracket JaMe-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City


The main difference between the QuicKlear® and In-Ovation® C brackets is the narrower metal clip which does not cover the whole width of the bracket.

Comparison QuicKlear In-Ovation C-Dr Chamberland orthodontist in Quebec City

Comparison between In-Ovation® C and QuicKlear® brackets

The picture on the right makes the comparison easier. The size of the ceramic base is comparable, but the metal clip is narrower.

Let’s say it objectively, it is not better or worse. They are 2 different brackets that work, which have their benefits (being translucent) and their disadvantages (being bigger than a metal bracket).

Questions et commentaires

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  1. Mohamed says:

    Where to buy your products in egypt?
    What is Prices of self ligated braces ?
    Is there online request.?

    1. I would recommend that you order online via the SPEED System website at their World Wide Order desk.
      I can’t know the price you would pay once delivered in Egypt.

  2. Hasan says:

    Thank you for your informative article.
    From your experience with these brackets, which one you think it’s better, from orthodontist point of view, empower or bioquick brackets? And empower ceramic or quicklear brackets?

    Thanks a lot

    1. Empower and Bioquick are copies of Inovation whcih is a copy of SPEED. THey all have stainless steel clip that lose its rigidity by 50% during treatment.
      Empower Ceramic and Quickclear are copies of InOvation clear. They have the same SS clip that come loose after a while.
      SPEED is the only self ligating bracket that has a Niti clip that maintain the same strenght during the treatment.

  3. Bob Leigh Grossmann says:

    Wow! You’ve really become internationally famous…..when we met each other in Quebec City I knew then that you were an exceptional talent.

    I retired in 2005 and thought I was through with orthodontics. I was wrong. I am still in it through my granddaughter who was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. She was initially treated in Germany and is developing well. She and her mother moved from Germany to Orlando, Florida, and is now involved with the Arnold Palmer Hospital and it’s oral surgeon, Dr. Ruiz.
    Isabelle, my granddaughter, is now several years into orthodontic treatment and has had bone implants in the upper lateral incisor areas. She spent last year with her father in Germany and he did not continue her treatment with a German orthodontist so, in the meantime, the upper cuspids have erupted into the lateral grafted areas and the posterior occlusion has shifted to Class II. We are thinking of leaving the cuspids to be used as laterals…..and leave the occlusion Class II.

    In an attempt to shorten auto trips for treatment she was evaluated by Dr. Lawton in Oviedo, Florida, whose office is closer. He wants to debond and rebond with the Damon system brackets. Lower treatment is 95% complete so I see no reason to switch brackets. Only limited upper cosmetic anterior positioning is needed and I again question changing brackets (metal .018 brackets). I guess my question to you is your opinion of Damon brackets.

    When I practiced, I used several self-ligating systems when they were in their infancy. Visually today they don’t look much different. I believe I used SPEED brackets and others. I don’t remember which I liked best. They all had problems. Do you have any strong feelings about self-ligating brackets? Should I correspond through your email address?
    Greetings from Virginia….Bob and Sibylle Grossmann

    1. Hi Bob,

      It is nice to ear from you. It has been a while since we meet. We should try to make it hapen again.

      Regarding your granddoughter, if I read you well, the maxilary canines had made eruption in the sites of missing lateral incisors where she had bone graft to repair the bilateral cleft. Therefore, she has a bilateral class II molar relationship, canines substitution for the missing laterals and the 1st premolars act as the canines, normal overjet and overbite.

      This is a valuable treatment outcome and I can not disagree with that. I often do that in patient with patient that have congenitally missing lateral incisors and don’t have not necessarily cleft palate.

      Regarding the change of brackets systems, this depends on the preference of the practioners. Is Damon brackets better? No, I don’t believe so. In my opinion, Damon is the worse SLB availaible in the market, but I know that there are still a lot of users of that system. But that is an opinion. My opinion.

      Could the treatment of your grandaugther be completed with the bracket she is wearing. Chances are that it is yes, but some repositionning might be necessary.

      Would I change the bracket if she would come in my office?

      The answer is yes. I hate working with twin brackets. I hate elastic or ligature ties. It cost me less to rebond a transfer case with my onw SPEED bracket than to continue the treatment with a system that I am not familiar. My brackets are .022 slot, I could not work with .018. this does not mean that .018 is not good. It mean that I learn to work with .022 system.

      I think that the change of bracket systems need to be discuss with the orthodontists. Your daughter may try to find an orthodontist that would be willing to continue the treatment with the current system. There is no good or wrong answer. It is a matter of agreement between the patietns/parents and the orthodontists.

      Do I have strong feeling about self-ligating brackets?

      I think that most current SLB tried to copy SPEED system. They all use a spring clip that work similar to SPEED. However, most SLB kept the twin design. They could not make the paradigm shift that SPEED did since its introduction years ago. SPEED is a single point attachement. One benefit that no other systems has is the niti spring clip that is unique to SPEED. This niti clip maintain its force throughout the treatment. All other system InOvation, Empower, Forestadent Quick has a stainless steel clip that lost about 50% of its strenght during treatment. This means that in the finsihing stage, the SS clip is unable to maintain the archwire thight into the bracket slot.

      My feeling: SPEED system is the best.



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