We thank Drs Kailasam, Jagdish, and Chitharanjan for taking a keen interest in our article, “Comparative assessment of alignment efficiency and space closure of active and passive self-ligating vs conventional appliances in adolescents: A single-center randomized controlled trial.”
In answer to each comment, as the authors stated, the models were obtained every 12 weeks, even though the conventional bracket patients were reviewed every 6 weeks and the self-ligating bracket patients every 12 weeks. Our analysis was intention to treat, which aims to analyze the data as they happen in the real world; as stated, this is usually 6-week intervals for conventional and 12-week intervals for self-ligating brackets. Although the patients were booked for 3-month recalls for the models to be obtained, it was difficult to get them to return at exactly this time point, and our analysis was able to cope with this and any missing data.
As to the archwire sequence, as pointed out, we standardized the wire sequence in an attempt to reduce the number of confounders. It is possible that had we not done so, it might be argued that any differences could have been due entirely to the wire sequence rather than to the brackets. We did not feel that this was a disservice to self-ligation systems, of which there were 2 in this study, 1 passive and 1 active. Anchorage loss thus was not measured as part of the trial. We believed that the randomization was sufficient to ensure that any such outcomes were likely to be evenly distributed among the 3 groups. As to bracket failures, we plan to publish further on the secondary outcomes such as bracket breakage and clinic time. Eight operators were involved in the treatment of the patients, which as pointed out might lead to bias. However, we felt that this was acceptable, since the alternative would have been to use just 1 operator and could also have led to accusations of bias if this operator were to have more experience with, or a preference for, 1 type of bracket.
Dr Kailasam and his colleagues are correct in spotting the typographic errors in Table I; the Omni Frankfort mandibular plane angle “Low” should be 2 instead of 11, and “Average” should be 13 instead of 9; this demonstrates a more even distribution of the Frankfort mandibular plane angle in the 3 treatment groups.