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Fixed appliances

Active self-ligating SPEED™ systems

SPEED™ bracket

We use self-ligating SPEED™ brackets, eliminating the need to use elastics or metal ligatures that conventional orthodontic appliances necessitate to hold the orthodontic archwire in place.

The wire is thus held in place by a Spring Clip in nickel-titanium shape-memory alloy which has the benefit to ensure a constant force of about 120g (Pandis et al, AJODO 2007; 132:834-7).
The SPEED™ bracket is an active self-ligating miniaturized system of orthodontic appliances, compared to other passive self-ligating systems which we will talk about later on.

The clip, made of a nickel-titanium shape-memory alloy, allows a constant interaction between the orthodontic archwire and the bracket. Small archwires slide freely in the bracket slot. Bigger archwires activate the clip mechanism. Any deviation from the neutral position of the archwire in the bracket slot activates the clip and the latter brings the bracket bonded to the tooth back to the neutral position.

Therefore, the tooth moves toward the orthodontic archwire which is either flexible, if it is made of nickel-titanium, or rigid, if it is made of stainless steel. The interaction between the orthodontic archwire and the active clip of the bracket thus ensures a precise control in the 3 planes of space.

Rotational control (first order)

Tip control (second order)

Torque control (third order)


Here are 2 smiles of patients wearing SPEED™ brackets. Notice the small size of the bracket compared to the tooth.

Although it is made of metal, the unique miniaturized SPEED™ bracket (3 times smaller than conventional brackets) gives it a discreet appearance. The patient on the left wears an elastic between the upper right canine and the lower molar. Note that these pictures were taken while the alignment is not finished and while the incisal edge is not adjusted. Therefore, do not be mistaken about the alignment in general. It is normal in the initial stage of an orthodontic treatment.

SPEED™ brackets smile. The preliminary alignment is not finished yet.

SPEED™ brackets smile. The preliminary alignment is not finished.

To make a better comparison, I take both pictures of SPEED™ smile above again by putting them side by side with both pictures of In-Ovation® C smile of the web page: Active self-ligating systems. It is thus easier to notice the benefit of the miniaturized SPEED™ bracket. The patient on the right wears an elastic chain under the orthodontic archwire.

SPEED™                                                                                          In-Ovation® C

When teeth are larger like shown below, the SPEED™ bracket appears small on the tooth. The In-Ovation® C bracket does not appear much in the patient on the right, but the clip itself is larger than the SPEED™ bracket.

SPEED™                                                                                          In-Ovation® C


Comparison of brackets

Here is a comparison of different brackets. The SPEED™ bracket is narrower, that is 2 mm for the visible part. If we include the base better known as the “mesh pad”, the SPEED™ bracket is 2.69 mm wide. For all other brackets, the width varies from 3.5 mm to 5.1 mm. The larger width of the clear ceramic brackets explains the reason why, despite their transparent structure, they are as visible as the SPEED™ mini brackets.

For additional information about the brackets, consult the following link which brings you to the site of the manufacturer: Why SPEED™?


The precise placement of brackets on the teeth is crucial to obtain an optimal occlusion and alignment. I prepared a SPEED™ bracket placement guide as part of training seminars that I had to give in the last years. Here is the Keynote of this seminar:

Other self-ligating fixed appliances

1- Other active systems





2- Passive self-ligating systems

Damon system

SmartClip™ system

Other systems

3- Conventional fixed appliances


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