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Construction of Labial Bow


This demonstration shows the laboratory construction of a labial bow. It is presented by Edwin Payne and Kerry Lancaster of Eastman Dental Institute.

Peer reviewed by Dr S.Jones Consultant Orthodontist/Honorary Senior Lecturer Eastman Dental Hospital and Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences.

Draw a line mid crown height, level with occlusal plane.

Cut a length of 0.7mm stainless steel wire, then straighten using pliers and fingers.

With fingers and thumbs, form the wire into an ideal arch.

The wire will bend in the areas where the most pressure is applied.

Try the ideal arch against the model, using the pencil mark as a guide
The bow should rest passively against the teeth.

Using the pencil line as a reference, mark the canine eminence onto the wire.

Make a 90 degree bend.

Using spring formers, make a U-loop
Length of U-loop should be just beyond original margin

Check against model.

Contour distal section of U-loop.

Bend wire at contact point and across occlusion.

Tag end to extend 2/3 into palate.

Uniform spacing of 1mm, with a foot at the end of tag.

Occlusal view: Notethat U-loop follows contour of arch.

U-loop position
Should lie approx. 1mm away from tissue


Labial Bow Checklist:

  • Should lie at mid crown height
  • Should be level to the occlusal plane
  • Should touch all incisors where desirable
  • U-loop should be formed at canine eminence, and be parallel and extend just beyond margins
  • Distal of U-loop should be contoured towards contact point allowing approx. 1mm space from model
  • Should be and exact fit over contact point
  • Tag arms should be contoured into palate with 1mm spacing