Arch consolidation

If the maxillary arch has any spacing, the 0.016-inch archwire is formed with curve of Spee (unless open bite) but without omega loops. Elastomeric chain is placed from first molar to first molar to close these spaces. As discussed in principle 11, the arches should be consolidated early in treatment. This procedure is repeated until all spaces are closed in the maxillary arch.

However, most orthodontists were taught never to close maxillary anterior spaces with round wire because the teeth could tip. This is an excellent point; however, the reality in nonextraction cases is that when the 0.016-inch nickel-titanium wire aligns the anterior teeth, these teeth will flair slightly, possibly causing some spacing. The elastomeric chains will then return the teeth to their original positions, without excessively tipping them or losing significant torque.

Occasionally, if too much space is present to close with elastomeric chain alone, the patient is treated as if it were an extraction case, and the spacing is consolidated distal to the lateral incisors. Then a closing loop archwire is used to close that space (Fig 17-3).

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