Contamination assessment of orthodontic bands after different pre-cleaning methods at a tertiary care hospital

Document Type



Dental-oral, Maxillo-facial Surgery; Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Pathology and Microbiology


Introduction: Infection control in dentistry is a major concern due to risk of transmission of communicable diseases. The aim of this study is to evaluate and compare the efficacy of various pre-cleaning methods for the tried-in orthodontic bands.
Material and methods: An in-vitro experimental study was conducted at the Central Sterilization Services Department (Dental Clinic) and the Microbiology lab at our university hospital. A total of 130 bands were included in our study which comprised 10 controls and the rest were equally divided into three groups according to the pre-cleaning methods, i.e. manual scrubbing, enzymatic solution and a combination of both. The orthodontic bands were incubated in the brain heart infusion broth at 37 °C for five days after pre-cleaning and sterilisation in a steam autoclave and were assessed for any bacterial growth. The chi-square test was applied to determine any significant association between the various pre-cleaning methods and the frequency of bands that showed growth. Effect size was calculated using the phi coefficient.
Results: The enzyme method revealed 5% of the sample to exhibit bacterial growth, whereas manual scrubbing and the combination of both showed no growth. There was no statistically significant difference among the three methods (P = 0.131). Further investigations showed the presence of Staphylococcus non-aureus bacterial species in contaminated bands from group II.
Conclusions: All pre-cleaning methods were found to be equally effective in the decontamination of bands. Hence, the tried-in bands can be safely reused after pre-cleaning and sterilisation.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Orthodontics