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We have developed a technique for precisely twisting ligatures to fabricate lingual retainer wires, using a modified micromotor handpiece. The steps are as follows:
1. Cut the bur end from the shaft of a used bur (A).
2. Bend a hook from .036" stainless steel wire (B) and solder it to the cut end of the bur shaft (C).
3. Insert the hooked shaft into the handpiece, then attach the doubled end of a length of .009" ligature wire to the hook while grasping the two loose ends tightly with a Mathieu needle holder (D). Engage the handpiece motor at a slow setting to produce a twisted wire (E).
This technique produces uniformly twisted retainer wires much more consistently and quickly than can be done manually.