Objective: To assess the effectiveness of banding versus bonding of first permanent molars during fixed appliance treatment; in terms of attachment failure, patient discomfort and post-treatment enamel demineralization.
Design: Multi-centre randomized clinical trial.
Setting: One District General Hospital Orthodontic Department and two Specialist Orthodontic Practices.
Participants: Orthodontic patients aged between 10 and 18 years old, randomly allocated to either receive molar bands (n=40) or molar bonds (n=40).
Method: Bands were cemented with a conventional glass ionomer cement and tubes were bonded with light-cured composite to all four first permanent molar teeth for each subject. Attachments were reviewed at each recall appointment to assess loosening or loss. The clinical end point of the trial was the day of appliance debond. Enamel demineralization at debond was assessed using the modified International Caries Assessment and Detection System (ICDAS).
Results: The first time failure rate for molar bonds was 18·4% and 2·6% for molar bands (P=0·0002). Survival analysis demonstrated molar bonds were more likely to fail compared with molar bands. First permanent molars with bonded tubes experienced more demineralization than those with cemented bands (P=0·027). There was no statistically significant difference in discomfort experienced by patients after banding or bonding first permanent molars (P>0·05).
Conclusion: This study shows that as part of fixed appliance therapy, American Orthodontics photoetched first permanent molar bands cemented with 3M ESPE Ketac-Cem perform better than American Orthodontics low profile photo-etched and mesh-based first permanent molar tubes bonded with 3M Unitek Transbond XT in terms of failure behaviour and molar enamel demineralization.