Indirect Bonding

Indirect Bonding Video

Indirect Bonding Lab Video (Applying Template Clear Silicone to Model)

Bracket Placement on a Model

Precision bracket placement on the patient's model.

The more scribe lines the easier it is to get precision bracket placement.

Biocryl Tray Example 1

Template Clear/ 0.5mm Splint Biocryl Tray

Biocryl Tray Example 2
Biocryl Tray

Valo Light From Opal. 3200 mW
(Two Passes of 3 seconds Per Tooth)

I am now using Opal Etch and Opal Seal for indirect bonding. We do not air thin the Opal Seal as it is not cured before we place the tray. We still use 3M Unitek Transbond XT Light Cure Adhesive for the custom base.

Transbond Supreme LV Low Viscosity Light Cure Adhesive ("Filtek" in the article below) is spread as thinly as possible on the custom base just before placing the tray in the mouth over the uncured Opal Seal.

The flowable resin fills in the gaps due to voids in the custom bases that occur when positioning the brackets on the models. We also use Transbond LV for the pads and adhesive for indirect bonded lingual retainers.

I do not use self-etching primers due to experience with higher bracket bond failures and the increased chance of decalcification.

Tray Occlusal View

Partial Tray

Tray Side View

The following is from an unpublished master’s thesis.

  • In-Vitro Comparison of Three Indirect Bonding Adhesive Systems
  • Dr. M. Miller, Dr. T. Foley, Dr. A. Rizkalla, Dr. D. Banting
  • Division of Graduate Orthodontics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada

Taken from Summary and Conclusions:

"Based on the data obtained in this in-vitro study, it thus appears that the modified Higgins indirect bonding system is superior to both the auto-cure (A-B) system and the Thermacure system. The modified Higgins indirect bonding system yielded SPBS (Shear-peel bond strength) values comparable to directly bonded brackets, without any apparent increased risk of enamel damage at debonding."

In another unpublished study by a major orthodontic manufacturer, five indirect bonding tray designs were tested for bracket transfer error. The author's tray design was the most accurate of the five. The trays without a hard occlusal stop all caused the brackets to be bonded approximately 0.25 mm more gingivally than intended. The trays tested were:

  • PVS Over Brackets & Occlusal Surface, 1.5 mm Polycarbonate Outer Shell
  • Emiluma PVS Bead Over Brackets, Memosil 2 PVS Outer Shell
  • Affinity Crystal PVS Bead Over Brackets, 0.5 mm Biocryl Outer Shell (Author's Tray Design)
  • 1.5 mm Bioplast Inner Shell, 0.75 mm Biocryl Outer Shell
  • Affinity Crystal PVS Bead Over Brackets, 0.75 mm Biocryl Outer Shell
Upper Retainers 1
Upper Retainers 2
Lower Retainers 1
Lower Retainers 2

Lingual Retainers Indirect Bonded Before Debond

Retainer on Model
Retainer in Tray

Lingual Retainer on Model & in Transfer Tray

Full coverage Essix retainers are made for all patients to be worn at night, even if they have bonded lingual retainers. This is to retain posterior teeth and closed extraction sites. If a bond fails on a fixed lingual retainer (and they do) the Essix retainer is worn full time to maintain tooth positions until a new lingual retainer is bonded indirectly. We always use both upper and lower Essix so that we have plastic against plastic instead of tooth against plastic which wears too quickly.

The March 2007 issue of "Seminars in Orthodontics" features indirect bonding and includes an article written by this author. The following is copied from that article.

Indirect Bonding with a Light Cured Adhesive and a Hybrid Transfer Tray

Crystal Clear

Figure 1A: Affinity Crystal Clear vinyl polysiloxane (VPS).

Bonding Application

Figure 1B: Application of VPS over brackets.


Figure 1C: A model with VPS.

Micro Etching

Figure 2: Micro-etching of the custom bases.

Completed Tray

Figure 3: Completed tray.

Fig 4 and Fig 5A
Fig 5B
Laboratory Technique
Lay Down
Article 1
Article 2
Fig. 6
Fig 7
Fig 8
Fig 9
Fig 10

Dr. Michael Wainwright taught me indirect bonding in 1981. In the early 1990's I began using light-cured adhesives with the custom base technique, especially Ormco's Fluorobond lightly filled sealant. It worked so well it led to me giving many lectures. I also began using dentin bonding agents with hydrophilic monomers in an attempt to decrease bond failures in high moisture situations. Following is bond strength results from the work I did with Ormco and Kerr.

Bond Strength Results