Aim: To evaluate the precision of the orthodontic bracket slot dimensions of 0.022 inch and to compare them with those of the manufacturers’ specifications. Materials and methods: The slots of upper-right central incisor brackets (n = 5) from 11 commercial bracket systems of three different manufacturers (3M Unitek: Victory Mini Metal, Clarity, SmartClip, Clarity SL; ORMCO/SYBRON: Mini Diamond Twin, Damon Q, Damon Clear; Dentsply/GAC: Ovation, Mystique, In-Ovation R, In-Ovation C) were measured. The orthodontic brackets were scanned using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), and the bracket slots were measured using micro-CT images. The slot was measured at four different surfaces (occlusal, gingival, base, and face) for both mesial and distal sites. Data were subjected to ANOVA and unpaired t-tests. A p-value of ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: All brackets had slot dimensions that were significantly larger (p < 0.05) than the stated 0.022 inch. 3M-victory were 11.99% larger (0.02509 inch) and the closest to the stated dimension and the ORM-Damon C were 24.07% larger (0.02948 inch) than the quoted slot size of 0.022 inch. Comparison between mesial and distal sides showed that 91% of the bracket slots were asymmetrical at their bases and 100% asymmetrical at their faces. All of the bracket system showed divergent walls from base to face with values ranging from 1.96 (3M-SmartClip) to 26.58% (ORM-Damon C). Conclusion: The actual measurements of 11 bracket systems from three different manufacturers were more substantial than the manufacturers’ specifications, and the walls of the slots diverged from the bracket bases in all of the tested bracket system. Clinical significance: Orthodontic bracket slots vary significantly from that of the manufacturers’ specification. The orthodontist should anticipate such shortcomings and be able to modify treatment mechanics through additional wire bending in three spatial planes.
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