Changing the game in bonding with APC Flash-Free Adhesive

Search Dental Tribune

Changing the game in bonding with APC Flash-Free Adhesive


The latest news in dentistry free of charge.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
APC Flash-Free Adhesive. (Photo: 3M Unitek)
Armineh Khachatoorian, USA

Armineh Khachatoorian, USA

Tue. 29 July 2014


For almost the entire history of orthodontics, the bonding process has been a “given.” It’s a long and variable-filled process, including numerous steps and, of course, adhesive flash cleanup. Throughout the years, there have been advances in the individual components involved, such as light cure vs. chemical cure adhesive, self-etching primer and pre-coated appliances, which have increased bonding efficiency and convenience.

But now, and once again, 3M Unitek is changing the bonding landscape with the introduction of APC Flash-Free Adhesive. With APC Flash-Free Adhesive, there is no need to remove adhesive flash after placing the bracket. The implications of this advancement are not limited to the substantial increase in bonding efficiency; the new formulation is also showing additional benefits for both the patient and clinician, with a low bond failure rate and easier cleanup at debonding.

“Having tried APC Flash-Free Adhesive on several patients ... the product appears to take pre-coated technology not just one, but two or three steps further,” said Dr. Lars Christensen, United Kingdom.

Why flash-free?

Adhesive flash removal is not only a lengthy and sometimes imperfect process but, also, well-intentioned attempts to remove flash sometimes inadvertently result in moving the bracket from its ideal position. If this bracket movement is immediately detected and the brackets are repositioned, bonding time increases for both doctor and patient.

In the worst-case situation, the bracket movement is not detected until the second visit, causing bracket repositioning and possible delay in the finishing of the treatment.
APC Flash-Free Adhesive eliminates this problem, 3M Unitek asserts.

Efficiency and bond reliability

With the APC Flash-Free Adhesive system, bonding steps are reduced from 11 to five when comparing traditional light-cure adhesive bonding to bonding with APC Flash-Free Adhesive and Transbond™ Plus Self-Etching Primer. APC Flash-Free Adhesive provides the same bond strength, reliability and predictability of Transbond XT and APC Adhesives.

“We quickly noticed that patient chair time in our office was reduced significantly. This time savings will allow us to reduce our allotted time for a direct full upper and lower bond procedure from 90 minutes to about 70 minutes,” said Dr. Mohammad Razavi of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Bond failure rates have also been reported to be extremely low. Among early users of APC Flash-Free Adhesive, reported bond failures were less than 2 percent.

Razavi noted: “Our analysis of bond strength and bond reliability has been shocking, as we have documented the lowest bond failure rates since starting to track this statistic in 2010. … To date, we have a record low bond failure rate of 0.75 percent.”

Enamel protection and easier cleanup after debonding

With APC Flash-Free Adhesive, a small amount of resin flows out from under the bracket during seating. This resin forms a meniscus, or fillet, around the edges of the bracket, which, once cured, has been proven to stay in place for the duration of the treatment.

Data shows that the cured APC Flash-Free Adhesive resin material protects the covered enamel from the softening effects of acid exposure.

While other adhesive products may require sealant applications every six months, the data shows that APC Flash-Free Adhesive protects the meniscus-covered enamel from acid erosion.

In a recent in vitro university study, users reported that APC Flash-Free Adhesive enables more consistent and predictable debonding compared to traditional paste adhesive systems, and the adhesive remnant is easier to clean up.

APC Flash-Free Adhesive is currently available on Clarity™ ADVANCED Ceramic Brackets and Clarity SL Self-Ligating Brackets. Visit for more information.

Complete articles by Dr. Razavi on his experience with APC Flash-Free Adhesive, as well as additional technical information, can be found in the Orthodontic Perspectives Innova publications available on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *