The first time you cut a crown prep in dental school, how long did it take you? It took me about 3 days, but I got faster!

The first time you put brackets on in ortho residency how long did that take? It took me half a day… but I got faster!

When I started out in practice it took 3 hours to put braces on. Guess what? I got faster.

Now we can bond upper and lower arches – from start to finish – in less than 15 minutes.

I can hear your thoughts as you read, “You can’t do that!”

Yes we can, and we do, and we even posted a video of us doing a bond on Ortho101. The doctors who visit our offices regularly can attest to this as well.

“Well you can’t do a bond that fast and do a good job… I bet you’re not even bonding 7s”, I can hear that voice inside your head saying. And you’re right. Kinda. We bond 7s when we can easily get to them on the initial bond but we don’t use a NOLA (because they are torture devices and patients hate them) and we don’t engage the 7s on the bond appointment (we wait until we are at least in an 018 wire to do so to avoid the wire coming out of the 7 tube) so we don’t get too upset if we need to bond 7s on the second visit. Patients appreciate you considering their comfort when choosing an isolation device and once you have your systems down you can easily pick up any 7s individually on the next appointment.

“Burris just wants procedures done faster because he’s a greedy bad guy who is not taking care of patients properly”, your inner voice is saying now if you’re a typical orthodontist reading this.

That is your pride talking and you’re getting defensive because you believe you do things “properly” and that anyone who does more or does things faster must be lying, cheating and stealing because you’re doing all that can be reasonably done. Well, I hate to break it to you but you’re missing two major factors.

  1. Patients HATE retractors and HATE to be laid back in a chair like that and WANT the bond appointment over as quickly as humanly possible!
  2. You certainly can learn to be faster than you are now!


You can do it. You’ve proved it over and over that you can get better and faster but for some reason “conventional wisdom” dictates that our self improvement levels off and we become satisfied once we get a few years of practice under our belt and become comfortable. For some reason we just stop trying to get better and faster but better and faster should be our goal. Always! Your patients will thank you and there are tons of ancillary benefits as well!

6 thoughts on “Faster, Doctor, Faster!

  1. What type of isolation do you use? I assume you use 3M L-pops and pre-pasted brackets, U/L bonding in the same appointment? I would like to be faster. What part o he bonding process has been your greatest gain in speed?

  2. We use a very simple cheek retractor and bite block. We use L pop along with an initial etch before that. We don’t use pre-pasted brackets. I posted a video of a bond on Young-Docs Study Group and will post one here on OrthoPundit in the coming weeks. A 3 or 5 second light is a huge time saver as well. Thanks for the input and questions.

  3. Are you opposed to skipping the etch step altogether and just using L-pops?

  4. I’ve never been able to make that work on the initial bond but when we have a broken bracket we do exactly that. Since we have already etched to expose the enamel rods and the lpop has already permeated them when we did the initial bond, when we have a broken bracket I remove the glue with a bur and we use the lpop and then we bond.

  5. Good afternoon Ben, i am trying to search fro that bonding video. can you help me find it? what was the title? thank you

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