Courtesy of Strauss Diamond

Pearls for Your Practice: Occlusinator PRO kit by Strauss Diamond

Jan. 21, 2022
Read how this product helps clinicians avoid being what Dr. Joshua Austin calls “thumbprint dentists.”

Painters are lucky. They get to sign their painting in the corner to let everyone know who did it. We don’t get to do that in dentistry. We can’t sign our restorations with some cool-looking signature for all to admire. Or can we? Have you ever seen a composite you placed in recall and just known that it was yours? Not because you remember doing it or remember the patient or saw the chart, but because you can tell by looking at it that you did it.

I believe we all have styles in our anatomy of direct restorations. Occlusinator can help perfect that style, so it looks less like a restoration I did and more like an actual tooth.

The Occlusinator PRO kit comes with a bur block and a hand instrument for placing anatomy in a resin composite restoration. The hand instrument is called the PPS (posterior packer and sculptor) and is a four-in-one instrument. It helps us quickly pack and adapt the composite to the occlusal surface and achieve some primary anatomy. Two ends of the PPS are packers (.8 mm and 1.5 mm in diameter) and two ends are burnishers (acorn and ball). It works very well for its designed purpose—to quickly and efficiently pack and shape composite for posterior restorations.

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The other part of the Occlusinator kit is used after that initial composite shaping and curing. The five-piece finishing bur block is designed to accurately and neatly achieve ideal occlusal anatomy. Three of the burs are acorn shaped with a stop edge to prevent gouging. These burs sculpt occlusal grooves in the restoration at the perfect 97-degree angle with 50-micron diamond particles. This prevents unnecessary enamel damage. Take a look at the natural anatomy around the tooth being restored and pick an acorn finishing bur that matches the appropriate depth. I call the different depths shallow, deep, and deeper. I generally err on the side of shallower and go up a depth if I need to.

The next two burs are called “X-Mas Tree” finishing burs. They have 15-micron diamond particles for a nice, smooth final finish. They have varying degrees of depth on the particle placement so larger restorations require the deeper bur. Smaller restorations require the more shallow. These burs will help you put a final smooth finish on without obliterating the anatomy you put in with the acorn burs.

I think that all of us aspire to be better clinicians than what I call “thumbprint dentists.” Thumbprint dentists shove a composite in the tooth with their thumb and whatever it looks like, it looks like. Having tools like the Occlusinator kit can help us achieve nice results quickly and easily—so much so that you might have a hard time identifying your restorations on recall. Solo home run to right field for the Occlusinator!

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