Pearls for Your Practice

Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, reviews the OptraGate lip and cheek retractor from Ivoclar Vivadent and Structur 3 provisional crown and bridge material from Voco.

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Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, reviews the OptraGate lip and cheek retractor from Ivoclar Vivadent and Structur 3 provisional crown and bridge material from Voco.

OptraGate by Ivoclar Vivadent Inc.

I will admit that I don't work with a rubber dam as much as I probably should. Deep down, I think we all know that a rubber dam is the best thing for restorative dentistry, but there are drawbacks to using one, such as comfort and the time required for application. OptraGate is a lip-and-cheek retractor from Ivoclar Vivadent Inc. that can give us some of the advantages of a rubber dam without the problems.

One of the big advantages of using a rubber dam is retracting the lips and cheeks to keep them from obscuring our view of the operating field. Keeping the lips and cheeks out of the way, especially while we're working on anterior teeth, makes life a lot easier. OptraGate retracts the lips and cheeks gently, quickly, and easily. Since it doesn't actually go over the teeth, it doesn't require clamps, flossing, or snapping. A dentist or auxiliary can place OptraGate in fewer than five seconds with no discomfort to the patient. The material is latex free, so it's safe to use on everyone.

OptraGate comes in three different sizes-"Regular," "Small," and "Junior"-to fit nearly any patient in your practice. I always use OptraGate during sophisticated anterior dentistry, such as crown or veneer preparations or insertions. Even if I am just doing multiple anterior composites, OptraGate can really help by giving me a clear field without taking up one of my hands or one of my assistant's hands. I also use OptraGate when I need to do a full-mouth digital scan. Whether the scan is for Invisalign or a restorative procedure, retracting the lips and cheeks absolutely helps to speed up the scanning process. OptraGate also eliminates my need for cheek retractors if I need to take high-quality photos.

My hygienists sometimes use OptraGate too. It might be for a really gnarly scaling and root planing case, or more frequently, for air polishing. Having an OptraGate in place allows my hygienists to retract patients' lips and cheeks, while keeping their hands free for the air polisher and suction. Since they are usually working alone, it can help keep them on schedule when they need it.

Recently, Ivoclar Vivadent debuted OptraGate in pink and blue, which is great for pediatric patients. As we all know, kids are often scared by new gizmos going in their mouths, but asking them to choose a color could help them to open up a bit. Also, using the OptraGate to retract pediatric patients' lips and cheeks could reduce the risk of self-inflicted bite injuries.

I am happy to have an OptraGate for a lot of situations when I never would have expected to need one, but I have been surprised at the convenience and ease it provides. I recommend getting a sample pack to try them out. I think you will find that they provide valuable assistance to you. Solid line-drive single for Ivoclar on OptraGate!


Structur 3 by Voco

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The biggest variable in fixed prosthodontics is the provisional restoration. Almost everything bad that can happen while a restoration is being fabricated at the lab occurs because of problems with the provisional restoration. If your assistant places a provisional crown that has slightly open interproximal contacts, your final crown will need adjusting. If your assistant takes a provisional completely out of occlusion, chances are the tooth will supererupt, and the new crown will need more occlusal adjustment.

Provisionals are the enemy to quick and easy crown deliveries-the better the provisional, the better the chance you have of a quick delivery. Having a provisional crown and bridge material that is cost effective and easy to use is extremely important to minimizing stress in restorative dentistry. Structur 3 by Voco offers both of those qualities.

Structur 3 is a quick-setting bis-GMA resin for provisional crown and bridge fabrication. It sets very quickly, requiring approximately 45 seconds intraorally, which helps facilitate fast fabrication. Structur 3 has high fracture resistance and compressive strength, so you can leave it in occlusion without worry-that alone will make your crown deliveries go smoother.

The "Wipe & Go" technology is a novel feature that you and your assistants will appreciate. There is no need to polish Structur 3: Simply wipe it with an alcohol wipe, and that will bring out the glossiness of the material. It's a big time-saver and will keep your assistant from making multiple trips to the laboratory.

Voco offers Structur 3 in traditional 50-mL cartridges for your mixing gun, and you can also get Structur 3 in independent QuickMix syringes, in case you don't want to use a mixing gun. It's also available in different Vita shades, giving you many esthetic options, so there is no need to have a separate posterior provisional material and anterior material. It's nice to have options, and Structur 3 covers all of the bases!

Structur 3 handles well and trims easily, but not too easily. It has some strength and body that make it easier to accurately trim the excess without the acrylic-trimming bur causing gouges. Polishing with an alcohol wipe gives a good shine for most single-unit provisionals, although I would probably still polish with a little pumice and white diamond compound if I were making a big multiunit provisional or a prominent single-unit anterior. All in all, Structur 3 is a solid provisional crown and bridge material, and coupled with the price tag, that makes it a great choice for your practice. Double into the gap for Voco on Structur 3!


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