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These simple stabilizing jigs for bonded lingual retainer wires are easily fabricated from materials in the office, using the following procedure:
1. Bend a circular retentive tag into one end of an .031" stainless steel wire segment.
2. Double-wind the wire 6-8mm from the tag to form a helix with an internal diameter of 3mm (Fig. A).
3. Bend the other end of the wire 90º, leaving a space of about 2mm between the wire end and the retentive tag (Fig. B).
An assortment of jigs can be made in various lengths for different situations. After selecting two jigs of the appropriate size and preparing the retainer wire on the patient's plaster cast, bond the retainer as follows:
1. Thread dental floss through the helix of each wire jig.
2. Test the jigs on the cast setup. When the angled end of each jig is clipped into the interwing space of the lateral incisor bracket, gingival to the archwire, the retentive tag should hold the retainer wire firmly but passively in place (Fig. C).
3. After preparing the lingual surfaces of the teeth, secure the retainer with the jigs (Fig. D), bending them as necessary to keep the retentive tags away from the bonding areas. Complete the bonding procedure as usual (Fig. E). We have found this technique to be reliable and convenient, especially since it avoids the need for laboratory procedures and special materials.