Introduction: This study determined the amount and severity of EARR (external apical root resorption) after orthodontic treatment with self-ligating (SL) and conventional (Non-SL) brackets. Differences regarding rate of extraction cases, appointments and treatment time were evaluated.
Material and methods: 213 patients with a mean age of 12.4 ± 2.2 years were evaluated retrospectively. The treatments were performed with SL brackets (n = 139, Smartclip, 3 M Unitek, USA) or Non-SL brackets (n = 74, Victory Series, 3 M Unitek, USA). Measurements of the crown and root length of the incisors were taken using panoramic radiographs. Three-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed for an appliance effect.
Results: There was no difference between patients treated with Non-SL or SL brackets regarding the amount (in percentage) of EARR (Non-SL: 4.5 ± 6.6 vs. SL: 3.0 ± 5.6). Occurrence of severe EARR (sEARR) did also not differ between the two groups (Non-SL 0.5 vs. SL: 0.3). The percentage of patients with need of tooth extraction for treatment (Non SL: 8.1 vs. SL: 6.9) and the number of appointments (Non-SL: 12.4 ± 3.4 vs. SL: 13.9 ± 3.3) did not show any differences. The treatment time was shorter with Non-SL brackets (Non-SL: 18.1 ± 5.3 vs. SL: 20.7 ± 4.9 months).
Conclusions: This is the largest study showing that there is no difference in the amount of EARR, number of appointments and extraction rate between conventional and self-ligating brackets. For the first time we could demonstrate that occurrence of sEARR does not differ between the two types of brackets.