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A nonamalgam alternative

July 1, 1998
Pearl #1 - SureFil by Dentsply Caulk. In the race to find an alternative to posterior two-surface amalgams, Caulk has entered with a new product called SureFil. I became familiar with this product in its development stage, and I have been impressed by its handling characteristics. Research has shown that dentists have been looking for a nonamalgam restorative for Class II restorations that would allow them to easily achieve good contacts. Based on clinical trials and use in my office, I think Su

Joseph Blaes, DDS

Pearl #1 - SureFil by Dentsply Caulk. In the race to find an alternative to posterior two-surface amalgams, Caulk has entered with a new product called SureFil. I became familiar with this product in its development stage, and I have been impressed by its handling characteristics. Research has shown that dentists have been looking for a nonamalgam restorative for Class II restorations that would allow them to easily achieve good contacts. Based on clinical trials and use in my office, I think SureFil deserves a serious look. The material handles like amalgam, thanks to a very precise assembly of different-sized glass particles. This "interlocking" action between the particles gives SureFil a feel and resistance similar to amalgam for ease of establishing contacts. You can actually pack the composite against the matrix band and see the band move. You also will find some other amazing differences with this product. It has an excellent depth-of-cure, which means that you can bulk-place the material up to almost 6 mm in depth. This means that most Class II restorations can be placed in bulk, carved, and cured in one step. You will need a curing light with an output of over 400 to achieve this, so be sure your curing light is operating at peak level. With the increased patient demand for esthetic restorations, it is great to have a new posterior composite with such good new characteristics. It is easy to handle, polishes well, and looks to me like it has great promise. Order SureFil from your dealer today.

Pearl #2 - The Comfy Wrap From Comfy Concepts. I was walking through the Chicago Midwinter Meeting with Rhonda (my dental assistant and an assistant editor of DE) late in the afternoon. We had been on the exhibit floor all day looking for new products to try and were really dragging when we came upon the Comfy Concepts booth. As we stood in front of the booth, they draped a soft, lightweight, flexible wrap around our necks. The wrap was heated, and the warmth seemed to permeate and relax all the muscles of my neck and shoulders. It felt wonderful. The Comfy Wrap also has a small pocket in which you can place a choice of herbs that will give off a therapeutic aroma. I thought that if this could make me feel so good in the middle of an exhibit floor, just think how our patients would feel if we greeted them with a nice warm Comfy Wrap when they arrive at the office. This falls into the category of five-star service that will set our practices apart from the others. The Comfy Wrap addresses your patients` unspoken needs and shows your concern for their comfort and well-being. Comfy Concepts also has an Eye Pillow and a Lumbar Pillow for your patients` comfort needs. I think this is a great concept. Your patients will be touched in a simple, down-to-earth manner that they will feel and remember. They will love you for your thoughtfulness. Can they get this at the managed-care office down the street? Building a trust between you and your patients will help your practice grow and let your patients know how much you care. To order this great product, call Comfy Concepts at (888) 842-1277.

Pearl #3 - True-Grip by Clinician`s Choice. This is the showstopper from the CDA meeting in Anaheim. Until now, there was only one adhesive placement tip available. Now there is a choice, and I think you will like it. True-Grip tips are three inches long and have an adhesive tip that is ideal for handling veneers, crowns, bridges, posts, inlays, and onlays. They will easily and tenaciously adhere to any small item with just a touch, making movement from the operative tray to the mouth easy and effective. This certainly minimizes the chance of dropping or damaging the item. The tips are bendable and can be reused for multiple units. To order, call (800) 265-3444. Thanks to Peter Jordan for another great product.

Pearl #4 - Pearls by Orascoptic Research. I have always wondered why there was not a magnification line available to assistants and hygienists. After all, they need to see well too. Orascoptic is stepping in to fill that void with a newly designed line of magnifying glasses for your hygienist and your assistant. These truly unique glasses are made from the ever-popular Gargoyles frame design, giving your auxiliaries that stylish feel. They are available in three working distances to provide comfortable, ergonomic posture and relieve common back, neck, and shoulder discomfort. A unique double-hinge system will adjust to your working angle and will enable oculars to be flipped up for unmagnified vision. The telescopes can be individually designed or Gargoyles can be made with interchangeable prescriptions for sharing. And they come in great colors as well. Call Orascoptic at (800) 369-3698 to order.

Pearl #5 - Mint Snuff All-Mint Chew by Oregon Mint Snuff Co. It`s baseball-fever time and the season is in full swing. What do you see a lot of the players doing? That`s right, spitting and chewing! This habit is very much like playing Russian roulette. When I have a patient who has a smokeless-tobacco habit, I usually tell him or her all the horror stories about how many young people end up. Since most of us think we are immortal, especially when we are young, this does not have much of an impact. After all, if professional athletes do it, it must be OK. At the ADA meeting in Washington, DC, I came across a new use for the mint leaf that could very well save people`s lives. Now I have an alternative to offer patients who chew and spit. I can encourage them to quit by using Mint Snuff All-Mint Chew and All-Mint Pouches, a healthy alternative that has none of the dangerous properties found in tobacco. But the can is identical to smokeless tobacco, and it looks the same ... so the social part is the same. It contains no sugar, no salt, no tobacco, and no nicotine. The juices and the pulp can be eaten (no more spitting), and the mouth smells and feels fresh. The products were developed primarily as an aid for those wishing to get away from chewing tobacco. Over 12 million people use some form of smokeless tobacco, and the largest increase is among young people from ages eight to 17-years-old. Most of the youngsters are doing it because it is the "in" thing to do, but now you can offer them an alternative. Tobacco Intervention Network will provide you with free samples to distribute to the public. There is absolutely no cost to you. All you have to do is call (800) 938-1957 or visit www.quittobacco.com. So what are you waiting for? This tremendous service that you can offer to your community will not happen until you pick up the phone.

Pearl #6 - Taking Care of Business: New England`s Management Summit for Dentists. Don`t miss this one! The Massachusetts Dental Society has put together an outstanding program of speakers for Sept. 18-19 at the Four Points Hotel in Hyannis, Mass. The program will feature two concurrent learning tracks with more than 12 nationally recognized experts who will provide an outstanding opportunity for attendees to broaden and strengthen management skills, learn from experts on a range of practical financial issues, and network with speakers and colleagues. Space is limited, so call Paula Sears at (800) 943-9200, ext. 242, and register now.

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." He may be reached at (314) 434-6808.

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Pearl 1

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Pearl 2

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Pearl 3

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Pearl 4

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Pearl 5

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