Objective: To determine the pattern of use and re-use of orthodontic molar bands, and examine infection control measures in a sample of UK orthodontists. \ud \ud Design: Questionnaire survey. \ud \ud Subjects and methods: Questionnaires were sent to 204 individuals selected at random from the UK Specialist Orthodontist list. Follow-up questionnaires were sent to those that had not replied within 8 weeks. An overall response rate of 74.5% was achieved. \ud \ud Main outcome measures: Orthodontic band use and re-use and cross-infection control. \ud \ud Results: The reported rates of pre-sterilization cleaning and sterilization of orthodontic instruments were 92 and 100%, respectively. Of the respondents, 90% were using bands for molar teeth with the remainder routinely used bonded attachments. Most clinicians (95%) using bands routinely re-used them after being tried-in with 5% discarding them. Pre-sterilization cleaning of re-used molar bands was carried out by 92% of respondents who reclaimed bands. Sterilization of these bands was then carried out by most specialists apart from 2. \ud \ud Conclusions: The majority of UK specialist orthodontists who responded to the questionnaire are adhering to universal precautions for cross-infection control and are carrying out approved decontamination procedures. The majority are also reusing orthodontic bands that have been tried in the mouth, but found to be the wrong size. The great diversity of reported procedures for decontamination of instruments and bands suggest that more research is required to provide guidelines into the most effective method. \ud \u
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