Pearls for Your Practice: Right Angle Variable Torque Driver by Salvin Dental Specialties, Compo-Ject by Clinician’s Choice, and Filtek Easy Match by 3M

April 2, 2024
In this month’s Pearls for Your Practice, Dr. Joshua Austin reviews a torque driver, a composite compule dispensing gun, and a shade-matching system.

Right Angle Variable Torque Driver by Salvin Dental Specialties

Pretty much every time I deliver an implant restoration, I sweat. Not because the restorations don’t fit or need a lot of adjustment or anything; I sweat because of the aspiration risk. It makes me nervous every time. I don’t know why I get nervous about implant crowns and drivers but not sectional matrix rings or tooth crowns. I think my apprehension comes from two incidents I had with patients swallowing implant stuff. One was an implant crown. The other was an implant driver. Can’t do much for the crowns besides a throat pack, but the driver problem I have fixed thanks to the Right Angle Variable Torque Driver from Salvin Dental Specialties.

The other issue that makes me sweat with implant restorations is access. Sometimes it’s so difficult to get an implant driver to where it needs to be, especially when restoring implants in the back of the mouth. The Right Angle Variable Torque Driver helps with this as well. This instrument allows you to snap a latch-type implant driver into the working end and adjust the torque by rotating the handle outside of the mouth. No more straining to work with little movements in the back of small mouths.

Using the back end of the Right Angle Variable Torque Driver, you can adjust the desired torque to whatever you need. Torque settings are 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 32, and 35 Ncm. Once the desired torque is set, engage the implant screw and simply turn the end of the instrument outside of the mouth. The driver will then apply the torque to the implant screw. No risk of aspiration. No tiny, fine movements needed. No struggling inside the mouth. It makes the process of delivering an implant restoration so easy!

The Right Angle Variable Torque Driver is autoclavable and built to last. All your assistants need to do is lubricate it with Pana-Spray (also from Salvin) after each use and before sterilization. This instrument is not inexpensive, but for me, it is vital for implant restorations. Buy one and take care of it, and it will last you for years and years. Double down the third base line for Salvin and the Right Angle Variable Torque Driver.

Compo-Ject by Clinician’s Choice

Probably my favorite website on the entire internet—besides, of course—is Reddit. There is a sub-Reddit for everything that could possibly interest you. One of my favorite sub-Reddits is called EDC. EDC stands for Every Day Carry. What are the things you carry with you daily that are essential to your life? Things like keys, wallets, phone cases, pocketknives, etc. Now, think about some of the EDC items in dentistry. What are the things that we pick up daily? Essentials for general and restorative dentistry. Mirrors, explorers, iTeros, curing lights. These are all some of my practice EDCs.

One EDC that often gets overlooked is your composite compule dispensing gun. Most of our EDCs for that are trade show giveaways—plastic composite dispensing guns that get run through autoclaves, dropped, scratched, broken, etc. I like to upgrade the things I use every day to make my life easier. One of the best EDCs for composite dispensing guns is the Compo-Ject by Clinician’s Choice.

The Compo-Ject is one of the most upscale composite dispensing guns on the market. Crafted by high-grade, acid-resistant stainless steel, the Compo-Ject will absolutely hold up to the everyday rigors of restorative dentistry. Run it through the autoclave a thousand times, and it will still be good as new. Drop it or throw it (although your assistants won’t like you after). I could probably run over this thing in a Ford F-250, and it would still be ready to dispense composite. It is rugged!

In addition to its longevity, the Compo-Ject is easy to use. It loads and unloads quickly and easily, which makes for slick intraoperative procedures. The compule can be rotated 360 degrees within the Compo-Ject to make sure you get the perfect access.

I am honestly not sure why Clinician’s Choice makes Compo-Ject. The problem is, there is no repeat business. If you buy a Compo-Ject, you aren’t going to need to replace it. You will probably be selling it with your practice when you retire. Sounds like a losing proposition for Clinician’s Choice and a winning proposition for us dentists! Triple to the right field corner for Clinician’s Choice and the Compo-Ject Composite Dispensing gun!

Filtek Easy Match by 3M

My wife got me a nice pair of dress shoes for Christmas. They were made by one of her favorite European brands, but until the company that makes red leather soles starts advertising in Dental Economics (Dr. Maragliano-Muniz’s dream come true), I won’t give them any free press. The shoes are a beautiful shade of dark blue—not quite navy, but not quite royal blue. Right in between. Of course, the first time I went to wear them, my wife wanted to know which suit I was going to wear them with. I said, “My favorite navy suit.” She responded with “No, no, no! You can’t wear blue shoes with a blue suit! The shades don’t match.” How naive of me. Of course, shade matters in dentistry too … but value seems to matter more when it comes to matching teeth. That’s where Filtek Easy Match by 3M comes in.

Filtek Easy Match is a new product in the long line of Filtek restoratives. We all have different wants and needs from our composite restorative materials, and it seems like Filtek can deliver on all of them. I was trained to use Filtek Supreme Ultra for anterior restorations. My kit contains 36 shades over four different opacities. It’s a big tackle box. But sometimes that’s more than I need. Sometimes I have patients who fall in-between shades. They aren’t exactly an A1 or a B1. I’ve had several cases where my assistant picks one shade. I pick another, and the patient thinks it’s a third, different shade. Simpler can sometimes be better. That’s the spot for Filtek Easy Match in my practice.

Three shades. That’s all. Three shades … value based … that can handle most of the restorations in your practice, even in the anterior. The three shades are not Vita shades or anything like that. They are Bright (B), Natural (N), and Warm (W). Bright covers shades from Bleach to A1, B1, B2, C1, and D2. Natural covers shades from A2, A3, C2, D3, and D4. Warm covers shades A3.5, A4, B3, B4, C3, and C4.

I don’t even get out a shade guide anymore when I use Filtek Easy Match. You can pretty easily learn to identify by eye which shade to use. For younger patients and those with whitened teeth, use Bright. We can all pick out an A2 and A3 with our eyes; on those patients, use Natural. And on older patients or those with stained teeth, use Warm.

Filtek Easy Match makes things, well, easy. The filler technology allows for a great chameleon effect and blending, plus even blending opacities. I don’t layer this material. It’s easy. As in all Filtek products, Filtek Easy Match handles and polishes great using my traditional techniques.

Shade matching is difficult. It’s a real problem in dentistry. If we can just get the value and primary anatomy correct, we can overcome a lot. Shade matching doesn’t have to be the complex issue that it is. Filtek Easy Match can make it easy for you, your team, and your patients. Solo home run to left center field for Filtek Easy Match!

Editor's note: This article appeared in the April 2024 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, is a graduate and former faculty member of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry. Author of Dental Economics’ Pearls for Your Practice column, Dr. Austin lectures nationally on products, dental technology, online reputation management, and social media. He maintains a full-time restorative dentistry private practice in San Antonio, Texas. You may contact Dr. Austin at [email protected].

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