The enamel surfaces of extracted teeth were studied clinically and with a scanning electron microscope following debonding of orthodontic attachments and subsequent polishing. Excess orthodontic resin was removed with tungsten carbide burs and abrasive discs. Several combinations of polishing agents were evaluated.

The no. 30 fluted tungsten carbide bur appeared to be the most efficient method of removing highly filled resin, and it produced the least amount of scarring. A polishing sequence was developed which used resin points and cups followed by a water slurry of fine pumice and brown and green cups.

This procedure was tested clinically and appeared to return the enamel to an acceptable condition. This procedure is fast, efficient, and comfortable for the patient.

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Author notes

P.M. Campbell is in private practice in Huntsville, Texas