PEARLS FOR YOUR PRACTICE: Simple curing, images, cement

This is probably the most researched dental curing light on the market. Rather than trying to offer the first LED curing light, Demetron took a different path.

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Joseph Blaes, DDS

Pearl 1 — L.E. Demetron I Curing Light from SDS Kerr.

This is probably the most researched dental curing light on the market. Rather than trying to offer the first LED curing light, Demetron took a different path. The company's goal was to understand what dentists need in a curing light. Then, they went to work building an LED light that would be worthy of the Demetron name.

Just last month, I got my hands on this nifty curing light. It really does all of the things it claims. One of the first features you will notice is that the light does not need to be returned to the base for charging. The L.E. Demetron I kit comes with two removable batteries. You can charge one battery while using the other, or you can charge both batteries at night.

The light itself is a modified gun shape that fits the hand well and is lightweight and wireless. The controls include an on/off trigger and a digital count display for 10-, 20-, and 40-second cures. The sleep mode shuts down the light after three minutes without use to preserve battery life. The L.E. Demetron I battery output will stay constant for 45 minutes of "on" time, which allows for 270 10-second cures. A low-battery signal warns the operator three minutes prior to the battery shutting down.

Light-Emitting Diodes are new to dentistry. Manufacturers are involved in research to discover the best way to use this new technology. Demetron found that the LEDs become very hot during operation. Over time, this heat causes the diodes to turn yellow and become less efficient. The quiet fan on the L.E. Demetron I solves this problem.

All of these features are great, but does it cure composite? Yes! The light has an 11 mm turbo light guide that will cure Herculite shade A3 in 10 seconds to a depth of 4 mm. Most of my cures require only 10 seconds to achieve excellent results. And there is no cord to cause drag or limit access to the mouth!

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The kit includes an auxiliary gun-holder that can be mounted wherever it is convenient. The light is sold as a kit, or you can buy the light or extra batteries separately. This way, you could have two LED lights in the treatment rooms, with spare batteries charging in the lab. The LEDs are upgradable to keep up with new technology. Faster, better, easier — that is the name of the game. For more information, call (800) 537-7123 or visit www.kerrdental.com.

Pearl 2 — Kodak™ DX4900 Dental Digital Camera Kit from The Eastman Kodak Company.

Digital photography offers tremendous benefits to dentistry: immediate viewing of images, easy emailing for referrals, printouts for case presentation, patient documentation, and more. However, the complexity, expense, and steep learning curve of most digital cameras have prevented many practices from adopting this valuable tool. Dentists have been looking for better image quality and features that make dental photography easier and faster.

The Kodak DX4900 is a solution. With solid, high-end imaging technology, the camera has 4.0 megapixel image resolution, built-in color management, and high-quality lenses.

The EasyShare™ Camera Dock II, Kodak's new camera PC interface device, also recharges the camera batteries. The dock makes handling the images from the DX4900 easy. You no longer have the hassles of USB cables, media cards, or external media card readers.

To make photography for the dental office even easier, Kodak has equipped the camera with a distance guide and a positioning grid to eliminate guesswork. The distance guide positions the camera at the ideal distance for consistent image quality. It allows the Kodak Color Management System to ensure proper color balance of the images. By always shooting at the same distance, you eliminate some of the major problems of color balance and image consistency. The positioning grid is a simple device silk-screened onto the LCD window that allows you to quickly and precisely frame every picture you take. No more wondering whether or not you have captured the teeth in the correct position; you will see it before you take the picture.

The camera comes packaged with everything you need. I love Kodak's tag line: "Simplicity Made Easy." That's what this camera is all about! The variable settings are preset for optimal performance in dental photography. Simply take the camera and docking station out of the box, plug it in, and charge up the camera. While the camera charges, read the brief user's guide and you can begin taking quality images in minutes. I am not a camera geek — I get some of my best family pictures with the one-time-use Kodak cameras — so I need a simple approach to taking images in the treatment room. The DX4900 truly is simple and economical.

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Call (800) 933-8031 or visit www.kodak.com/go/dental for more information.

Pearl 3 — RelyX™ Unicem from 3M ESPE.

What if I told you that you could cement everything except veneers with one product that does not require you to pretreat the tooth? Would that be a dream come true?

Dream no more! The chemists at 3M ESPE have developed a product that does all of that and more. RelyX Unicem is a dual-curing, self-adhesive, universal resin-luting cement. The key word here is universal. Unicem is an adhesive cement for cementation of indirect ceramic, composite, or metal restorations and endodontic pins and posts. Now you can throw away all those bottles and systems you have been using and replace them with one system.

RelyX Unicem is packaged in the Aplicap system that requires mixing on a Rotomix or an amalgamator. After using it a couple of times my assistants loved it! RelyX Unicem has simplified their lives and made cementation a much easier process in our office.

As I describe this product, think of all of the steps you can eliminate in your cementation process. Unicem can cement any indirect restoration except veneers. When using RelyX Unicem Aplicap, bonding and conditioning of the dentin and enamel are no longer necessary. The cement self-conditions the tooth surface and bonds without a separate adhesive. It is a dual-cure cement that polymerizes in both the light-cured and self-cured modes. Without getting into the chemistry, the cement exhibits high mechanical properties and dimensional stability with no potential for sensitivity. Now you can have easy handling, moisture tolerance, no pretreatment steps, great mechanical properties including marginal stability, good adhesion, good aesthetics, and good translucency ... all in one revolutionary cement.

RelyX Unicem comes in shades A1, A2 Universal, A3 Opaque, White-Opaque, and Translucent. All shades are radiopaque.

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Call (800) 634-2249 or visit www.3MESPE.com for details.

Pearl 4 — QUIKGlaze from ALL DENTAL PRODX.

We all like to have our patients leave the office with bright, shiny temporaries, but we hate to spend the time it takes to polish temps so they look that way. Here's another nifty product that will make your temporaries significantly easier!

QUIKGlaze is a light-cured glaze for provisionals to be used as a substitute for polishing. After you contour and adjust the temps, simply apply a thin layer of QUIKGlaze to the temp and let it seep in for 20 seconds. Then light-cure for another 20 seconds, and you are done! The material is not runny, and when light-cured, it becomes hard and does not have a messy, air-inhibited layer. The glossy finish will last for months, depending on patient habits. QUIKGlaze also can be used as an adhesive to repair provisionals.

This is a great product that will save you time and make your provisionals and temps look better than ever!

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Order from your dealer. For more details, call (877) 647-7639 or visit www.alldentalprodx.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 joeb@pennwell.com.

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