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Ten pearls for greater productivity and profitability

Jan. 1, 1996
I have come across more outstanding products that save time and money in your practice. The feedback and suggestions are great-keep them coming! Many articles on techniques and products tend to complicate the process rather than simplifying it. My aim is to make your work easier.

Joseph A. Blaes, DDS

I have come across more outstanding products that save time and money in your practice. The feedback and suggestions are great-keep them coming! Many articles on techniques and products tend to complicate the process rather than simplifying it. My aim is to make your work easier.

Pearl #1-Snap-Stone by Whip Mix Corporation (Figure 1)

For a quick stone model, this is the material of choice. We have been using it for about eight months. What makes it unique is a high, early compressive strength-you get an accurate working model in only five minutes. The problem with most quick-set gypsum products is that the teeth break off the model when you separate it. Not so with Snap-Stone! Use it for making custom trays for bleaching, mouthguards, vacuum-formed splints, temporaries, denture repairs, orthodontic appliances and even study casts. Call Whip Mix at (800) 626-5651 for a free sample. One caution: Do not fool around when you mix it. Get your model poured quickly. It sets fast!

Pearl #2-Impregum Pentamix System by ESPE (Figure 2)

I quit using Impregum years ago because it was such a mess to mix and load. The impressions were great, but we used to get it all over everything! There was not anything that did not have a brown stain on it. Now, you can have all the advantages of polyether chemistry without the mess. With just a touch of your finger, the Pentamix automatic mixer ensures a perfect, void-free mix of Impregum. Dental assistants love the mixer. No more tired, sore hands from using a polyvinyl mixing gun to fill a full tray. The material is packaged in an economical polybag and the automatic mixing controls waste, which helps reduce cost. The unit will mount on the wall or sit on the counter. One disadvantage is the initial cost of the unit. ESPE is offsetting this to some extent with free extra material at the time of sale. A great system! Order from your dealer.

Pearl #3-Prime & Bond by Caulk Dentsply (Figure 3)

If you want to simplify your life, this product is for you. I have been using Prime & Bond for about six months, and it has been great. It has become our one and only bonding agent. Sensitivity has not been a problem, and it offers superior bonding strength for a variety of techniques. This is a one-bottle system, so you do not have to keep track of two or three bottles, and there is no mixing. It saves time because the technique is quick and simple. It saves storage space since you can get rid of a lot of other bottles. Controlled clinical studies demonstrate a 98 percent retention in direct placement bonding. Caulk has corrected what I considered a big disadvantage-it was impossible to dispense one or two drops. Be sure that you have the new, improved dispenser. Your old ones can be retrofitted. Order from your dealer.

Pearl #4-Stay-Put Retraction Cord by Roeko (Figure 4)

One of the biggest problems with packing retraction cord is that it tends to unravel and keeps slipping out of the sulcus, so you have a constant fight on your hands to keep the cord in the sulcus. When I received a sample of this new retraction cord, I was intrigued by the name but was very dubious. But I`ll be darned if it doesn`t work. The cord actually does stay where you put it in all kinds of packing situations. This is really a time-saver. I can pack this cord in one-third of the time that it takes to pack ordinary cord. Remember, time is money! Believe it or not, I actually enjoy packing this cord. You must try this one! Call (800) 328-2335 for a free sample.

Pearl #5-Provilink by Vivadent (Figure 5)

Have you been looking for a temporary cement that sets quickly, is eugenol-free, cleans up easily, removes easily and leaves no residue on the tooth? Look no more; Provilink is your answer. This material is amazing. It mixes easily with no smearing or sticking when you lute your temporary crowns and bridges. Then, simply seat the temps and light-cure for 10 to 20 seconds on the margins, and the excess can be removed immediately. The material is dual-curing, which assures thorough polymerization of the entire restoration. It has an antibacterial effect and a fluoride release. Our patients have reported reduced sensitivity since we began using this material. When you remove the temporary crown, the material does not stick to the tooth, so you eliminate the need to clean temporary cement off the tooth. An-other time-saver! Order from your dealer.

Pearl #6-All Clear by Septodont (Figure 6)

Unpleasant odors don`t have to be a part of your practice anymore. The All Clear Molecular Adsorber attracts and eliminates irritating and potentially harmful odors of fumes and gases to help create a safer, more pleasant work environment. We started using this little wonder in the sterilizing room to control the odor of the chemiclave. It worked so well that we put one in every room in the office. Glutaraldehyde, darkroom chemicals, acrylic monomers, bonding chemicals-all of these odors and more are attracted by All Clear`s magic pellets (which even change color to tell you when to change them). Our patients have commented on the lack of obnoxious odors and have said that the office doesn`t smell like a dental office. What a great comment! Infection-control gurus recommend having one in every treatment room. It`s a great product! Order from your dealer or call Septodont at (800) 872-8305.

Pearl #7-In Search of the Ultimate Practice, by William G. Dickerson, DDS

Find out the secrets that helped Dr. Dickerson become a very successful dentist. Packed with valuable practice-management ideas, yet written in an entertaining and easy-to-read format, this book is necessary for dentists who want to improve their practices with this win/win philosophy. For details, call Dr. Dickerson at (702) 878-1977, fax (702) 878-4538.

Pearl #8-Revolution Core Build-Up Material by E&D Dental Products (Figure 7)

This great new product from the folks at E&D offers more choices than other build-up materials. You can vary the viscosity of the material, and it can be either light-cure or dual-cure. The curing depth is 4 mm, which is great for most build-ups; but if you have an extremely deep one, you can use a dual-cure activator for unlimited depth of cure. If you want to cement a post into a root canal, you can vary the viscosity of the material by adding a special activator. The material is nonsticky, so it is quick and easy to place and cure. It is available in natural or contrast shades and is compatible with all dentin/enamel bonding agents. The lower cost of the material combined with chairside simplicity saves both time and money. Order through your dealer or call E&D at (800) 526-4911.

Pearl #9-Mylaforms by Plastodontics (Figure 8)

It`s about time someone invented a system to simplify and improve the process of anterior cosmetic bonding. Mylaforms have the tooth form with interproximal matrixes attached. This is a very organized system that comes with six each of 24 maxillary anterior sizes in a kit with complete instructions. You can use Mylaforms for the following procedures: Direct resin veneers, closing diastemas and restoring proximal contacts, porcelain veneer procedures, large Class V restorations and restoration of cervical erosion and abrasion. With this product, you can use your imagination and come up with your own uses. Mylaforms will shorten your finishing time and save chairtime. To order, call (810) 733-8211. Plastodontics also maintains a toll-free technical support line at (800) Mylaform (800-695-2367).

Pearl #10-BT-2000 Healthcare Transaction Terminal From Pulse Card

We have had this system in the office for about five months. It is a simple, easy-to-use, stand-alone terminal that allows you to process all major credit card payments, check credit and submit insurance claims electronically. In my office, we have been using the system mainly to submit our insurance claims. Electronic claims are paid on average in 12 to 14 business days, many times with no questions asked. The claims are easier to track with the insurance company. Pulse Card offers attractive credit card merchant rates and the programs are endorsed by the AGD. Some of the major carriers in St. Louis do not participate in the clearinghouse that Pulse Card uses, but they are looking into other clearinghouses. Pulse Card offers a six-month evaluation period that allows you to try the terminal risk-free. This is an inexpensive way to begin electronic filing of insurance claims. Call (800) 347-8673 for more information.

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Figure 8

About the Author

Dr. Joseph A. Blaes has practiced in the St. Louis area for over 30 years. He has developed every type of dental practice-from solo to a 10-man group and back to solo, front-deskless practice. He is known throughout the U.S. for his expertise in dental techniques and for his innovative designs of dental systems and equipment. He has served as a consultant to several dental companies and to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He lectures and writes in the U.S. and Canada. Many dentists have attended his "in-house" seminars, gaining "hands-on/over-the-shoulder" training experience. Dr. Blaes may be reached at 12818 Tesson Ferry Road, St. Louis, MO 63128, phone (314) 843-3300, fax (314) 843-3691.

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