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Pearls for Your Practice

Sept. 1, 2019
Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, reviews a high-translucency glass ionomer, a high-volume evacuation mirror, and a set of restorative strips.

Equia Forte HT high-translucency glass ionomer from GC America

Resin composite just might be the bane of my existence. It is the most used restorative material in my practice and in the entire United States. While I am thankful for resin composite, it is also the material that gives me the most postoperative issues. Sensitivity and post-op occlusal adjustments are the top two reasons I have to see patients with resin composite restorations back for postoperative issues more than patients with any other material I use. I certainly understand that resin composite helps pay my bills, but I think we all wish we could use it less—whether that’s because it would mean more indirect restorations or because it would mean fewer post-op visits. 

Glass ionomer can’t help you do more indirect restorations, but it can help you do fewer resin composite restorations and have fewer post-op issues. Equia Forte HT is the newest glass ionomer from GC America, which is the glass ionomer company in the eyes of most dentists around the world. Glass ionomers have been around for years, but their use waned over time while research and development were dedicated to resin composite. 

Over the past four years or so, there have been some developments in glass ionomers, which is great for us restorative dentists and our patients. Equia Forte was a big development in the glass ionomer world, and Equia Forte HT is another advancement. The HT stands for high translucency, as GC has made Equia Forte even more esthetic.

If you are new to the Equia Forte game, let me fill you in. Equia Forte is a glass ionomer that is filled with ultrafine, highly reactive glass particles. These glass particles give the glass ionomer strength in more advanced applications. Glass ionomer has always been a great choice of restorative material because of its fluoride release and ionic bond to dentin. Strength and esthetics were the issues we had with using it in other areas. Equia Forte HT gives us more of each of those. 

I have used Equia Forte HT in small class I and II occusal situations with success. If the restoration is conservative in size and you can limit the forces on the restoration, it can be a great choice for high-caries-risk and sensitive patients. Will it last for 25 years? No, but resin composite won’t in those patients either. Equia Forte can give you an option for these patients. 

In addition to these situations, I use Equia Forte HT routinely for restorations in primary teeth and class Vs as well. Check out the GC America website for a full breakdown and procedure guide for Equia Forte HT. 

I think it’s time that we think outside the composite box. Glass ionomers are a great choice, and Equia Forte HT is one of the best choices you can make in that class. Triple to the right field corner for GC America!

ContacEZ Signature Set

Imagine a world where we would never have to restore interproximal surfaces. Every day would be filled with facials and linguals. We’d never have to pay the IRS. We would always know what we want to eat for dinner. You’d never have to wake up to an alarm clock. Oh, what a dream it would be! Unfortunately, that’s not my life, and it probably isn’t yours either. We have to pay the IRS—all the time. We never know what we want to eat. My alarm goes off jarringly every morning at 5:45 a.m., and I have to work on mesials and distals all day. Since I know I have to work on interproximals, I need tools to help. That’s where ContacEZ’s Signature Set comes in. 

ContacEZ make some products I cannot practice without, including the IPR strips and PrepSure reduction instruments. The IPR system makes interproximal reduction for Invisalign safe and easy. The PrepSure instruments allow me to verify I have enough occlusal reduction for my crowns. I use these ContacEZ products daily, and now the Signature Set has joined them. Not a day goes by in my office that we don’t open the Signature Set box. 

The ContacEZ Signature Set box contains a total of 10 different strips. Five of these strips are for indirect restorations, and five are for direct restorations. Among the indirect restoration strips are the Black Diamond, White Serrated, Gray Polisher, Pink Hygiene, and Clear Lab. The Black Diamond strip is used to lighten the interproximal contacts on crowns. The White Serrated strip is ideal for removing excess cement from around a crown being inserted. The Gray Polisher strip will polish an interproximal contact to a natural finish in one step. The Pink Hygiene strip removes extrinsic stain without damaging enamel. Finally, the Clear Lab strip is used to adjust contacts on stone models. 

The direct restoration strips included are the Orange Serrated Diamond, Blue Serrated, Blue Narrow, Gold Narrow, and Copper Narrow. The Orange Serrated Diamond strip will access a supertight contact with the serrated edge and adjust it with the diamond coating. The Blue Serrated strip is used for heavy-duty cleaning of excess resin interproximally. The Blue Narrow strip is a subgingival cutter for big overhangs. The Gold Narrow strip is a single-sided diamond-coated strip to smooth away small overhangs. Finally, the Copper Narrow strip is a subgingival polisher.

A kit like this is the answer to any interproximal problem that restorative dentistry can throw at me. I need easy solutions like this in my practice. ContacEZ makes a quality product that is useful, easy to use, and economically priced. What more could you ask for? Stand-up triple to deep center field for the ContacEZ Signature Set!  

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