Joseph Blaes, DDS
Pearl 1 - Fuji IX™ GP by GC America. This product epitomizes what a pearl should be - faster, better, easier. Fuji IX™ is the new packable glass ionomer restorative material that is taking the market by storm. This material has to be the ultimate in restoratives for children. Since Fuji IX™ bonds directly to the tooth, you can use a simple, conservative restoration. There is no need for undercuts or fancy preps. Wonder of wonders, you do not need a bonding agent since this material is a glass ionomer and will bond to the tooth. Since this is a less invasive technique, you probably can get by with less anesthetic and, in some cases, no shots at all. Your kids will love that. The material is nonsticky so you can quickly place it, pack it, and carve it. You have about two minutes of working time, and the material sets hard in about four-and-a-half minutes. So just place, pack, and finish - how easy can it be? Fuji IX™ is also a great choice for conservative air abrasion preps. Have you noticed that I haven`t made any mention of curing lights? This material is self-setting, so you don`t need one. The material is very wear-resistant and offers the superior fluoride protection of a glass ionomer. I also use the material as a temporary for emergency fillings and for core build-ups. Fuji IX™ comes in premeasured capsules, which I really like for the convenience and consistent mixes, or you can get it in a hand-mix powder and liquid. Either way, if you are treating kids in your practice, you need Fuji IX™! Call your dealer or GC America at (800) 323-7063 or visit www.gcamerica.com.
Pearl 2 - Filtek P60 Posterior Restorative by 3M. This is 3M`s entry into the packable posterior restorative field. This material has been extensively researched in the laboratory and in the field. I believe that 3M has combined some great posterior restorative handling characteristics. P60 packs well, and it resists slumping when you are carving before curing. It adapts well to margins and has a good flow and viscosity. The material does not stick to instruments, so you don`t have to struggle with pull-back. P60 finishes well and does not require any special finishing materials to get a great shine. Much of what I have said could also be mentioned of some of the new posterior composites. The big news with P60 is that you can place it faster than any other material. You can place it in increments of 2.5 mm and cure it in just 20 seconds. Yes, that`s right - half of the time required with other bulk-fill restoratives. Stop by the 3M booth and take a look at this material. P60 has all of the characteristics that I look for in a great posterior restorative. Order from your dealer or call 3M at (800) 634-2249 or visit their Web site at www.3M.com/dental.
Pearl 3 - Video Dental Assisting School by Professional Development Programs. Drs. Rebecca Griffiths and Barry Nestlerode have had a very successful practice for more than 16 years. One of the most frustrating aspects of their practice was training new staff people. I am sure that we all can relate to that problem. They found themselves hiring people who were likeable, intelligent, and possessed strong "people skills." They discovered that it was easy to familiarize someone with dentistry, but it was almost impossible to teach people skills. Dr. Nestlerode decided that a strong need existed in dentistry for a standardized, automated staff training system like the ones that Fortune 500 companies employ. He was tired of going over the same old material with new employees time and time again. "Your Career in Dental Assisting" and "Your Career in Dental Business Administration" are comprised of seven videos each and include workbooks and tests to evaluate employee trainability. The self-study video programs are a combination of computer animation, full-motion video, still photographs, and great clinical footage. Testing is critical to the success of each program. Terminating the untrainable people quickly will save you unbelievable amounts of time and money. I have seen too many dentists retain incompetent employees who hinder production and frustrate other staff. This alone could pay for the cost of the program. Dentistry becomes less stressful with a well-trained staff. Now you can devote staff meetings to team development rather that staff training. I have found that highly successful dental practices have well-trained people who are excited about caring for people. They offer a 30-day risk-free trial, so call (800) 430-7323 today or visit www.dentalvideo.com.
Pearl 4 - Enfresh Patient Kit by Enfresh. Enfresh has introduced what I personally consider to be the first sensible tongue cleaner. It is a brush and the first tongue cleaner I have used that does not cause me to gag. I do not have a particularly active gag reflex, but other tongue cleaners give me a problem. The brush can carry the tongue cleanser (included in the kit) to the back of the tongue. It comes with a nifty snap-on travel kit. This product is special because it is nicely packaged with everything the patient needs. It is an easy-to-use, comprehensive system that is specially designed for bacteria elimination and bad-breath control. My wife and I have found it to be more effective than toothpaste, toothbrushes, tongue scrapers, and mouthrinse. A system that is quick and easy to use encourages patient compliance. Call (877) ENFRESH or visit www.enfresh.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." He may be reached at (573) 686-2388.