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Dec. 1, 2000
Crystal Clear by Keller Laboratories. You finally get your patient comfortable with his bite splint, and a couple of weeks later he shows up with the splint in two pieces. Until Crystal Clear bite splints came along, this was a frustrating day-to-day problem.

Unbreakable bite splints

Joseph Blaes, DDS

Pearl 1 -

Crystal Clear by Keller Laboratories. You finally get your patient comfortable with his bite splint, and a couple of weeks later he shows up with the splint in two pieces. Until Crystal Clear bite splints came along, this was a frustrating day-to-day problem.

Crystal Clear is a premium bite splint made from a hard, durable thermoplastic that gives long-lasting results. These bite splints are clinically unbreakable, and they will last three times longer than conventional acrylic nightguards.

For these special bite splints to fit properly, you must provide a very accurate impression and bite. To assure an accurate impression the first time, we use a crown and bridge impression material like Imprint II or Take One. If you do this, you will be rewarded with a Crystal Clear bite splint guaranteed to fit. The splint is injection-molded to eliminate polymerization shrinkage, so you can usually seat the appliance in 10 minutes or less.

The material is strong, so you can have an appliance that has thinner lingual contours and a minimum vertical opening. Crystal Clear is nonporous, so you get an appliance that does not pick up odors or stains, enhancing compliance.

Crystal Clear Soft is for those patients who need to eliminate stress on the teeth. The secret is an inner layer of Talon®, a patented, heat-sensitive, elastomeric material within the hard Crystal Clear shell. The Talon® inner liner softens under hot tap water to adapt to the patient`s tooth contours and position, while maintaining the hard outer surface. This unique adaptation makes seating these appliances a snap. The patient is happy with the added comfort. Call (800) 325-3056 or visit

Pearl 2 -

Insight Dental Film by Kodak. You will be amazed at the difference in contrast of this film vs. other films on the market. Kodak has increased the film contrast, which means you get crisper, cleaner, and easier-to-read radiographs for diagnosis. Compare these radiographs with your old D- or E-speed films and you will see the difference. This new F-speed film is fast, without sacrificing image quality.

You will get diagnostic quality images with up to 60 percent less radiation, meaning lower radiation exposure to both patients and staff. You can confidently reduce patients` fears about radiation exposure. Do not change your mA or kVp settings; only reduce exposure time.

Insight film helps you with processing chemistry too. The film holds speed and contrast in older chemistry for consistent, predictable images, so you do not need to make continuous adjustments to your processor as the chemicals change. Insight comes in the sizes and configurations to which you are accustomed. It`s a great addition to the dental film market. Order from your dealer. For details, call Kodak at (800) 933-8031, or visit

Pearl 3 -

esa (Extended Straight Attachment) by Preventech. I was introduced to a mock-up model of this handpiece about nine months ago and knew it was a winner. I am happy to say it is now in production!

This is a disposable prophy angle with a difference. esa replaces the straight handpiece and connects directly to the handpiece drive motor. The first thing your hygienist will notice is that the esa is much lighter than anything he or she has ever used.

Since it is disposable, you will never have to autoclave, maintain, or buy a straight handpiece again. It has a comfortable, nonslip grip and connects easily. It is available in soft, firm, and nonlatex soft cups, as well as tapered brushes.

The esa has been developed to reduce hand and wrist fatigue, and it does not cost much more than a regular prophy angle.

The initial esa MW model fits the popular Midwest Shorty and Rhino slow-speed handpieces, which account for approximately 40 percent of the units sold in the U.S. market over the last 10 years. Preventech expects to introduce an esa ST model to fit the Star Titan handpiece in the spring of 2001. Call Preventech at (800) 474-8681.

Pearl 4 -

The DIAGNOdent from KaVo. I think the word watch should be banned from dental vocabulary. I am as guilty as the next person of using this word - it is a good way to avoid confrontation with a patient.

Because of changes in decay patterns as a result of widespread fluoridation, the accurate evaluation and interpretation of stained and nonstained occlusal pits and fissures has become complicated. The traditional explorer stick does not seem to work anymore to detect early decay. Harder and more resistant enamel can conceal aggressive subsurface decay.

For some time, both European and Canadian dentists have been telling me about a wonderful new instrument for diagnosing decay. We could not get it in the United States, because it was not FDA-approved. Now KaVo has approval, and the DIAGNOdent is available!

Basically, the DIAGNOdent is a chairside laser device used to aid in evaluating suspicious tooth structure. Recently a patient returned to my practice. She was skeptical when her new dentist had told her she needed a number of teeth restored due to undetected, new decay. With DIAGNOdent, she was able to see for herself that, in most cases, there was new decay. She was excited because she was involved in the diagnosis and could easily understand the need for restoration.

I have found the DIAGNOdent to be incredibly accurate in finding decay in teeth that I would have sworn were OK. Order from your dealer. Call KaVo at (888) 528-6872, or visit

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