Flash-free adhesive coated brackets

flash removal orthodontics

This article is sponsored content brought to you by 3M.

It’s time to leave the flash behind Flash-free adhesive coated brackets

Many orthodontists and dentists consider removal of excess adhesive flash after appliance seating an inherent part of their bonding procedure. Flash can cause a myriad of issues. If not cleared away properly, flash can discolour and stain or cause bacteria to accumulate. Alternatively, if too much flash is cleared, it can create voids under the bracket where plaque can accumulate. 

Flash removal can be a time-consuming and stressful task for many practitioners as their careful positioning of appliances on teeth, as well as the bond integrity, could be compromised by bumping the appliance. On top of that, any reduction in the time that the patient spends in cheek retractors can help to enhance comfort.

3M recognised flash removal as a persistent pain point which led to the development of a new class of APC adhesive that would not require this step by means of a compressible material and a lightly filled resin formula. Based on proven 3M technologies, the innovative design of APC Flash-Free Adhesive leverages several of the highly advanced 3M Technology Platforms such as nanotechnology, adhesives and nonwoven materials.

Adhesive bonding substrate

With APC Flash-Free Adhesive there is minimal bracket drift after initial placement1.This is due to the adhesive bond that’s built with resin-soaked nonwoven materials. A web of micron-sized polypropylene fibers provides the necessary thickness and loft needed for a reliable bond1.

Shear bond strength

The most important job of an adhesive is to provide a reliable bond. Orthodontic appliances bonded using APC Flash-Free Adhesive have reliable bond strength similar to bonding with 3M™ Transbond™ XT Adhesive or 3M™ APC™ II Adhesive1.

Smooth and even protection

When compressed on the tooth, the resin exudes and forms a protective meniscus around the edges of the bonding base. The meniscus minimises gaps between the edges of the bonding base and the tooth surface, protecting the enamel from acid erosion due to microleakage2.

Individually sealed blister packs

APC Flash-Free Adhesive Coated Brackets are individually sealed, preventing cross-contamination and assuring your patients’ peace of mind. And the individual blister packs are designed for stability with minimal contact to the adhesive, ensuring the correct amount of resin remains on the bracket.

Benefits for the practice and the patient

Streamlining the bonding protocol with APC Flash-Free Adhesive has been shown to lead to 60% lower average bond failures1,3 and 40% less chair time4. Fewer steps in the bonding process and reduced bond failures means more time to manage your workday however you want. Additionally, the shorter bonding appointments may lead to increased patient satisfaction.  

APC Flash-Free Adhesive is available on five 3M appliance choices including ceramic brackets, metal brackets and buccal tubes. To learn more visit 3M.com.au/APCFF or call 1300 363 484.


1. 3M internal data on file.

2. Debonding and adhesive remnant cleanup: an in-vitro comparison of bond quality, adhesive remnant cleanup, and orthodontic acceptance of a flash-free product. T. Grûnheid, G.N. Sudit, B.E. Larson, European Journal of Orthodontics, 2014, 1-6, December 29, 2014.

3. JCO bond failure rate – 5% avg. bond failure rate for labial bonding from 2014 report, p. 617.

4. Findings based on the following: time study at 3 US & Canadian clinics (APC Flash-Free, APCII/APC PLUS Adhesives), bonding time averaged over total number of teeth and cases bonded, bonding time per bracket does not include bracket selection, preparation, tray set-up or tooth preparation time, bonding time begins when bracket is first placed on tooth until it is ready to be light cured. 

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