Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A new, innovative product

Ortho Organizer's Ortho-Shield Safe-T-Tie elastic ligatures (1-800-547-2000 or www.orthoorganizers.com) have the potential to be a very useful addition to an orthodontic practice. These are elastic ties with anti-microbial properties. The ties have an anti-microbial silver with a timed release mechanism built into the elastic tie.
First, I'd like to address my concerns.The product information sheet calls the anti-bacterial product a "naturally occuring silver." What does this mean?
Second, the justification for using the product is based on a couple of case studies, not any scientifically justified documentation. How about doing a double blind study, measuring plaque reduction compared to a set of controls? I realize that the economic pressure to bring a new product to market is high, but we are obligated to our patients to be sure the products we use perform as advertised.
Concerns aside, I did try this product. We all know that decalcification as a result of poor hygiene is one of the biggest problems in orthodontics. If a way can be found to minimize decalcification, many patients will benefit. When I used these ties, the results were stunning. I used them on a couple of my poorest brushers, and checked them a couple of weeks later. Less plaque and better looking gingival tissue were apparent. I'll keep you posted as I see more results from this product.
Thes ties cost only between 5 and 10% more than regular elastic ties. They are light-activated, so you must keep them out of direct light during storage. They do come in special containers that keep the light out. They are only available in a couple of colors, but the company says more colors are on the way.
Please let me know if you have tried this product. If anyone is interested in helping design and participating in a study, contact me and maybe we can put someting together.

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