by Joseph Blaes, DDS
Pearl 1 — Tooth and Gum™ Products from The Dental Herb Company. In my job as editor, I meet many people on both sides of the dental business. I met Dr. Bernard Schechter a few years ago at a dental meeting. He told me all about the products he had developed for use in his dental practice and what great results he got from them. Some of the features sounded too good to be true, so I did not order any of the products right away.
Over time, I began to meet a lot of dentists who use Tooth & Gum™ products in their practices. They were getting amazing results, so the next time I saw Dr. Schechter, I ordered some products and began using them on my really difficult cases. As I'd been told, the results were great! We began recommending these products to all of our patients.
Bernie and I have become good friends over the past few years; I truly enjoy my visits with him. He is truly dedicated to dentistry. Besides his DDS degree, Dr. Schechter is certified in therapeutic herbology. He has spent two decades researching the effects of essential oils and herbal remedies, which he has combined with modern periodontal therapy.
Tooth and Gum™ products are natural products made without alcohol, chemical preservatives, or sweeteners. They offer antimicrobial activity, connective-tissue rebuilders, tissue conditioners, and a powerful antihalitosis agent. Clinical Research Associates has reviewed these products favorably in the CRA Newsletter, March 1998.
If you want to help your patients keep their teeth for a lifetime, then you must order The Dental Herb Company's four premier products: Tooth & Gum™ Tonic, Tooth & Gum™ Paste, Tooth & Gum™ Spritz, and Under the Gum™ Irrigant.
For more information or to order, call (800) 747-4372. Bernie will take good care of you!
Pearl 2 — ClearLine® by Kerr Metrex. I have avoided the whole waterline biofilm contamination issue simply because I have yet to see a system that would work in a busy dental office.
The systems I have seen are bulky, take up a lot of space, require additional plumbing, require daily maintenance, or require the use of chemicals. I think the main problem with these systems is staff compliance in carrying out a number of extra steps in their already busy daily routine to correct something they cannot see or measure. Add to this a lot of confusion and misinformation, and you have a situation that cries for a simple solution.
The ClearLine® by Kerr Metrex looks like a good solution. ClearLine® is a point-of-use, inline, replaceable filtration system that traps pathogenic bacteria larger than ClearLine's® 0.2 micron membrane filter.
In addition, you get BacStop®, a disposable antiretraction valve. You are probably thinking that filters have been tried before. Well, suspend your disbelief and take a look at this product. It is clearly the easiest system to use that I have seen. The filter needs to be replaced only once a week. And an easy-to-use system means that the staff will use it.
There are no toxic chemicals to mix that burn hands, stain clothes, and corrode equipment. ClearLine® is inexpensive, easy to install on any dental tubing, and takes only seconds for filter replacement.
For details or to order, call (800) 841-1428 or visit www.metrex.com.
Pearl 3 — Flowthru® Standard Style and Flowthru® Microbrush® Style by Microbrush Products. The folks at Microbrush are at it again. They are constantly tinkering with their products, making them more user-friendly.
Now, they have come up with an entirely new idea for dispensing syringe-loaded materials. Most syringe-loaded materials come in a Luer Lock-style syringe with fairly large-gauge needles for dispensing. Many times, we would dispense the material onto a pad and then apply the material with a brush, because the needle either allowed too much material to come out or it was difficult to position the needle accurately. Now there is a solution.
I am actually discussing two distinct products. The Flowthru® Standard Style tip is threaded to fit standard Luer Lock syringes and is easily bendable up to 90° without crimping. The tip comes in four brightly color-coded gauges — 18, 20, 22, and 25 — to handle the different consistencies of the materials. These tips allow you to put controlled amounts of materials exactly where you want them. The smaller-gauge tips are really great. I have never had this much control over syringable materials!
The second product is the Flowthru® Microbrush Style tip, which allows you to scrub the surface with the material and the brush. This tip is great for acid-etch or bonding agents.
I especially like it for dispensing resin cements when placing veneers. With most of the available products, we end up dispensing more than we want, thus wasting a lot of the cement.
With the Flowthru® Microbrush® 20 or 22 gauge tip, we can control the amount of material dispensed, and my assistant can move the cement around the inside of the veneer to be certain there are no voids. These tips come in the same four gauges in the same colors. The colorful plastic design is patient-friendly, particularly for needle-phobics. You need to try these! They're great.
For additional information on these Microbrush products, visit www.microbrush.com.
Pearl 4 — Mini Dental Film Viewer by Kodak. I saw this nifty little product at the Greater New York Dental Meeting. This is a handheld, battery-operated, compact light source for viewing dental film or slides. It has a folding leg that allows it to stand on your desk.
This is a very bright and easy-to-use light source for quickly viewing X-rays in the office. I got one for each of my hygienists. When they want me to see an X-ray, they bring me the Mini Viewer. This makes it very convenient for both of us. When the assistants have an emergency patient X-ray they want me to see, they borrow the Mini Viewer. (I guess I will have to get one for them as well!)
Order a couple from your dealer, but be sure to ask for the Kodak Mini Dental Film Viewer!
Pearl 5 — "Effective Communication: The Key To Controlling Stress in Your Dental Practice" by Jameson Management. If you have ever heard Cathy Jameson, PhD, speak, you know that she is a fabulous communicator. Did you know she was not born that way? She has learned and developed the techniques that she teaches, so you know they work.
These techniques are simple, yet powerful, easily implemented, and have been proven in dental practices around the world. Practices have used "Effective Communication" to increase office productivity, and, even more importantly, to improve both employee and patient satisfaction. Cathy presents techniques in two one-hour video sessions.
Call (580) 369-5555 to order your tapes today! For details, visit www.jamesonmanagement.com.
PEARL UPDATES —
PhotoCore® by Kuraray — This is my buildup material of choice and has been for longer than I can remember. I was attracted to PhotoCore® by the claim that it cures 8 mm deep. There are not too many buildups that are that deep. I have used it ever since, because it light-cures deep, hard, and quick.
This is a composite material that I now use in conjunction with SE Bond. When cured, it cuts like dentin. This is a great product that you need to have. Order from your dealer.
Fissurotomy® Burs by SS White I wrote about the original Fissurotomy® Burs in "Pearls" when they first came out a couple of years ago. For my practice, this was a great idea that I immediately embraced. I had tried air abrasion and did not like all the mess, so this was an answer for me.
The standard bur was good, but the addition of the narrower, more pointed Micro NTF Fissurotomy® Bur was great. I use this bur to open all those pits and grooves that I find with the KaVo DIAGNOdent®. Now, SS White has added an even smaller bur, the Micro STF Fissurotomy®.
Quit cleaning up sand in the treatment room! Order some Fissurotomy® Burs from your dealer, or visit www.sswhiteburs.com.
Dr. Blaes has a general practice in the St. Louis area. He is known for his expertise in dental materials and techniques and his innovative systems designs. He writes and lectures on "How To Increase Productivity and Profitability." Dr. Blaes is a member of the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.