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Past pearls:January 2015 // Ivoclar Vivadent's Bluephase Style // Estelite Sigma Quick by Tokuyama // EdgeEndo's EdgeFile
RTD Dental's Quartz Splint Intro Kit
A few weeks ago, on a Sunday, I was at my office putting together a new desk for my consultation room. My phone buzzed as I was holding two big pieces, trying to screw them together. It was the head athletic trainer at a major university near my office. One of the basketball players on the opposing team had taken an elbow to her front teeth. She was a bloody mess, so I told them to head right over, and I would try to put her back together. When she arrived, I found that 7 through 10 were pushed palatally. The entire group of them had moved significantly and as one segment. She had an alveolar fracture, and it was obvious that all four teeth were at risk. I numbed her up, cleaned and rinsed everything off, and pushed the teeth back into place. For any success at all, I knew that they would need to be splinted for at least two weeks.
Luckily, I had ordered the RTD Quartz Splint Intro Kit a few weeks earlier. There it sat, unused in my supply cabinet. I used the unidirectional quartz splint and bonded it from premolar to premolar. With far fewer steps than the leading brand of splint material, I found it to be easy to use. I spot-bonded it to the midfacial of each tooth with adhesive and flowable composite, and after that, I used a finishing bur to trim the excess. I used it again last week as a makeshift Maryland bridge to bond a pontic for a congenitally missing lateral. Once again, it worked well and was easy to use.
Although you may not need to use it for an entire year, splinting material is one of those products that you want to have around. The second that you need it, you need it. I feel that we, as dentists, are responsible for treating trauma appropriately when it happens to our patients, and I don't think you can do that without a splinting kit. Ideally, your kit should have a few kinds of splints for different situations. RTD's Quartz Splint Intro Kit offers just that. The unidirectional, woven, rope, and mesh quartz splints all have a variety of applications that could be beneficial to your practice. The unidirectional was great for mobile anteriors splinted from the buccal. The woven would work well for chairside fabrication of a Maryland bridge, while the mesh is useful for dentures and partials. The splints are sealed in individual containers, so you can store them until you need them. This kit won't revolutionize your practice of everyday dentistry, but at some point, you will need it. When that time comes, you'll be happy to have it. Frozen rope single to left field for the RTD Quartz Splint Intro Kit!
Cinema ProMed System by Zeiss
It's no secret that patients are wanting more and more from their dental experiences than ever before. It's not enough just to offer outstanding patient care anymore ... patients want to be pampered and entertained! One thing I hear frequently from patients is that I should have TV or movies playing on the second monitors in my operatories. I have been resistant to that. I love music. I love listening to it while I work. I have a Pandora station that I have tweaked and customized to the point that I absolutely adore the mix that gets played every day. I don't want to listen to Martha Stewart drone on about some topiary on HGTV. I don't want to hear what Rachel Maddow has to say about what Ted Cruz did yesterday. I just want to hear my music, and TVs in the treatment rooms will prevent that. So those TVs merely serve as second displays when I need to show patients radiographs, images, or informative videos. With Cinema ProMed, I have an option to entertain patients that won't interfere with my enjoyment of Milky Chance's "Stolen Dance" while I prep that Class II.
Zeiss's Cinema ProMed System is an immersive patient entertainment device that allows your patients to enjoy 2-D or 3-D movies, TV shows, video games, or informational programs during procedures without disturbing the dental team. The unit that I demoed in my office was hooked up to a small Roku Streaming Stick to allow patients to stream from Netflix, Hulu, and other media channels. Various other adapters are available to hook the ProMed up to Apple devices or anything with a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port. The Cinema ProMed is powered with an external battery attached to a control box that the patient holds during use.
I had several patients try the Cinema ProMed. All of them were entertained and thought it was very cool. I only offered it to patients who were having longer procedures done because it took some time for them to put it on, adjust it, and choose something to watch. If you have a few small restorations to do in a 30-minute time slot, your patient could easily spend 10 minutes of that time fiddling with the setup or trying to find something to watch. I know, from my experience with Netflix, that I spend more time trying to find something to watch than I actually spend watching stuff. Given that, an iPod or iPad with preloaded content on it might be a better fit for a dental practice than Netflix. Also, I only demoed the Cinema ProMed system for a month in my practice, so my staff wasn't able to get very familiar with the device. As a result, they had a tough time helping patients get it up and going. With more time and some training, staff members could probably help patients get the system set up more quickly.
With the limited time I had with the Cinema ProMed, my patients enjoyed it. With more time to devote to staff training, using it could become a more seamless process. If you are looking to add some medium of patient entertainment to your practice, I recommend that you consider the Cinema ProMed System. While it is relatively expensive and must be handled with care, the parts that touch the patient are either disposable or tolerant to being wiped down with Cavicide. To equip several of these units would be costly but probably consistent with what it would cost to add TVs, mount them, and provide content. While it may not be for every practice, the Cinema ProMed System might be just what you are looking for if you want to entertain your patients while you work. Soft single to right field for Zeiss!
Brasseler Forza V3 piezo ultrasonic system
Ultrasonic scalers are, quite simply, a necessity in dentistry today. I cannot imagine practicing a day without an ultrasonic. Many general dentists probably only have ultrasonic units in their hygiene rooms, but I think this is a mistake because ultrasonics have many other applications in dentistry. I have piezo ultrasonic units in all of my treatment rooms, as well, and they often come in handy. If you are interested in adding ultrasonic units to your practice or replacing any that you already have, I would encourage you to check out the Forza V3 piezo ultrasonic system by Brasseler. We all know and value the Brasseler brand name because Brasseler has supplied dentistry with excellent burs for many years. The Forza V3 lives up to the brand's reputation.
Compact in size, this piezo unit mounts easily and inconspicuously to your delivery system. Its dual LED illumination is bright, making it particularly useful during endodontic procedures. It was the first piezo ultrasonic I ever used that had LED illumination in the handpiece. With simple and color-coded controls, no guesswork is required for determining the appropriate setting. Water controls are easy and intuitive as well. You might be wondering, "Why would I choose this over a magnetostrictive ultrasonic?" The answer is: the vast array of tips available with piezo ultrasonic units. Brasseler and NSK Dental offer an entire catalog of tips for the many different applications of the Forza V3, including routine hygiene, perio (scalers for deeper pockets), endodontic, restorative, and prosthodontic. It's actually quite staggering to browse the selection. In my practice, the hygienists use the typical hygiene and perio tips. I have used some of the endo tips for orifice opening, glide path refinement, agitation of irrigants, and removal of excess gutta percha. For restorative procedures, I have used various tips to refine margins and remove excess cement, composite, and posts. From my hands-on experience, the Forza V3 piezo ultrasonic is a great utility player and the best ultrasonic unit on the market. Two-run home run for Brasseler on this little dynamo!