Pearls for Your Practice

Joshua Austin, DDS, MAGD, reviews the EyeSpecial C-III digital dental camera from Shofu Dental, Universal Bond adhesive by Tokuyama Dental, the iTero Element 2 intraoral scanner with TimeLapse, and the DentaProx Composite Separator.

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DentaProx Composite Separator

It’s a Tuesday afternoon. No end to the week is in sight. You look at your schedule and see what I think is one of the worst things possible: a 90-minute appointment of an entire quadrant or more of posterior Class II restorations. Ugh! I hate those appointments.

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Sometimes Class II direct restorations are a breeze. Sometimes the matrices fit precisely. Sometimes the wedge is the perfect size. Sometimes the ring cushions the teeth just right. Sometimes all the right things happen, making Class IIs simple—and sometimes they don’t. Having some ancillary tools to help when things don’t happen just right can help you spend less sweat on these visits. The DentaProx Composite Separator is one of those tools.

The DentaProx Composite Separator is a forceps-free solution to hold a matrix in place. This would serve as a substitute for the ring in your current sectional matrix system. The DentaProx almost looks like a Tofflemire and a matrix ring got together and had a baby. It brings the best of both worlds. The DentaProx gives you the qualities of a ring that are great, such as close adaptation to the tooth, along with the qualities of a Tofflemire that work—namely, size adjustability with the simple turn of a screw.

The DentaProx gives me a bit more separation between teeth than a normal ring would. Separation, especially adjustable separation, helps with achieving better interproximal contacts. The other handy thing that I find with the DentaProx is that its adjustability allows me to more easily restore preps that are a little bit larger where the ring has created issues. Rings aren’t adjustable, so for some situations, they aren’t ideal. The DentaProx helps me overcome a few of these situations and makes my life easier.

The DentaProx is well designed and holds up well. It is fully autoclavable, which is nice. Not all of the newer rings that have silicone all over them are autoclavable. I have found the DentaProx to be a great adjunct tool. I still use my rings a lot, but the DentaProx has helped me in situations where a ring isn’t ideal. Single to right field!

Universal Bond adhesive by Tokuyama Dental

Several months ago, I was sitting in a Chevy Tahoe, waiting to be taken to the airport from the Greater Philadelphia Valley Forge Dental Conference where I had spoken. The driver said we were waiting for another speaker before we could head off. A couple of minutes later, the door of the Tahoe opened, and Rella Christensen, PhD, RDH, hopped in. For those of you who don’t know, she is the heart and soul behind the research that goes into Clinicians Report, and she is married to Gordon Christensen, DDS, PhD, MSD. We talked about a lot on that traffic-riddled drive, including movies, how Gordon relaxes, and adhesive dentistry. She said some things that really opened my eyes.

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One of those things was that curing lights are an issue with our current resins and adhesives. She talked about research that Clinicians Report has done that shows the microgaps that form when light-cure resins and adhesives are cured with curing lights. She said that maybe someday people in dentistry will realize that dual-cure materials are severely underutilized. Wow. This was not something that I had heard often.

Not long after we had that conversation, Tokuyama Dental brought Universal Bond to market. What sets it apart from all of the other universal bonding agents on the market? It is dual cure! It’s as if Tokuyama was in that Tahoe with us.

Tokuyama Universal Bond is a two-component universal adhesive system that does not need light curing. Like all other universal adhesives, it can be used with a total-etch, self-etch, or selective-etch technique. I have written here before about how I love the selective-etch technique, so this is a big plus for me. It can be used with direct and indirect materials, another hallmark of universal adhesives.

Not having to use a curing light gives us more than just the advantage of less shrinkage and microgaps. It also saves us time. Curing time adds up over a day, a month, and a year. Skipping those steps—especially if we have an increase in bond reliability—can make us more productive. In addition to the time saved from not curing, we can also save time when it comes to agitation. Most adhesives require scrubbing and agitation, but a smooth application is all that Tokuyama Universal Bond requires. More time savings equals more productivity.

Tokuyama’s Universal Bond works great with dual-cure and light-cure composites. Don’t think that you have to use this great adhesive with only dual-cure resins. You can use this universally with any restorative material in your practice.

I love using a selective-etch bonding technique with universal adhesives. Throw in the fact that I can save time by not having to agitate or light cure, and it’s even better. Then add in that there will be less shrinkage and microgap formation because of the dual-cure capability, and it’s even better yet. Tokuyama’s Universal Bond smashes a triple into the left-field corner!

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