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by Joseph Blaes, DDS

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Pearl 1 — The Procera® AllCeram Bridge by Nobel Biocare. I have already written about Procera as a Pearl, but I would like offer a little background to bring you up to speed. This system integrates CAD/CAM technology with conventional methods to create all-ceramic restorations for placement in all regions of the mouth. The Procera system eliminates the need for wax-up, as well as investing and casting by scanning conventional models into a computer for margin confirmation and coping design. These three procedures are a cause of many problems for the laboratories, so the elimination of these steps is a definite plus.

The information is sent by the lab via modem to the North American Procera production facility, where the die is milled and the aluminum oxide coping is fabricated. The coping is then sent back to the lab for porcelain build-up.

I have placed many Procera crowns and have found the fit and the aesthetics to be outstanding. If you have had the occasion to cut through a coping, you know that they are very strong. New material and technology developments now make it possible to create Procera all-ceramic three-unit bridges that offer strength, durability, and aesthetics.

If you have placed a Procera crown, you know how great the aesthetics of the marginal areas look. In some cases it is hard to distinguish between Procera and the natural tooth. With no darkened marginal appearance, the Procera bridge is the optimal alternative to the porcelain fused-to-metal bridge.

The connectors for this bridge system can be as low as 3 mm by 2 mm, allowing the dental technician to create an all-ceramic bridge that demonstrates a very natural appearance without having to sacrifice strength. The Procera AllCeram Bridge is ideal for any position in the mouth. Talk to your lab and try one of these great bridges today! For more information, visit www.nobelbiocare.com

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Pearl 2 — Finale™ by Garrison Dental Solutions. The people at Garrison have done it again. Two of the principals at Garrison Dental are dentists, so they know what your problems are. They have come out with another innovative product that will make your life easier.

If you are like me, you have favorite burs for certain procedures, but sometimes nobody seems to be able to find what you want. So you compromise and use something different. Garrison has put together an all-in-one Composite Finishing and Polishing Kit that has everything you need. Finale has eight individual products that have been carefully selected to fit most of your needs and preferences.

These finishing and polishing products have been conveniently packaged in a single "G-Block™." Everything you need is in one place. There's no more need to have everyone running around to find your favorite burs. The G-Block is heavy duty so that it will stay where you put it and it secures its contents when closed. It can be put into the ultrasonic cleaner and the autoclave. Finale is simple, easy, and convenient. To order, call Garrison at (888) 437-0032 or go online to www.garrisondental.com

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Pearl 3 — The NRG™ L.E.D. Curing Light by Dentsply Caulk. Here is another curing light offering L.E.D. technology and the convenience of no cord. This light was introduced at the ADA meeting in Kansas City, and it offers some differences. I have had mine for only a week but have found it to be a great addition. This light looks and feels more like a traditional curing light. It has the shape of a gun with the trigger in the place you have become accustomed to, but it doesn't have a cord and is lightweight. Since the L.E.D. lights run cooler, there is no noisy fan.

The major difference is that the L.E.D. array is positioned at the tip of the curing wand. The light does not travel through the tip to reach whatever you are curing.

One charge gives 40 minutes of curing time, and a warning light alerts you if the power is running low. Your composite must have a camphorquinone photoinitiatior to be cured by this light. With this light, you get a 10-second cure with many of the composite shades. But you should check composites in your office by bench curing to be sure your composites will set up.

This light can be carried easily from room to room and will last most of the day on one charge. The NRG has a nifty tacking probe that is sold separately. If you are cementing veneers in your practice, I would recommend getting one. Order from your dealer or call Caulk at (800) LD-CAULK ext. 794, or visit www.caulk.com

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Pearl 4 — Point 4 Flowable by Kerr. Another flowable! You may be yawning by now, but hang in there, and let me tell you why you should look at this new product from Kerr. This flowable uses the same technology that has made Point 4 Microhybrid composite so successful. Combining Point 4 filler with high loading sets a new standard for flowable resins. Point 4 Flowable is almost 70 percent filled, which gives it better viscosity and more strength.

If you are using a flowable before you place your composite, it makes sense to use one that is stronger. When you place this material, you will find that it polishes to a gloss like a microfill. So you get aesthetics that you normally do not expect with a flowable.

Kerr has added shades for better matches. Point 4 Flowable is radiopaque so it will show up on your X-rays. If you are looking for a flowable that is easier to use, looks great, polishes easily, and is stronger, give Point 4 Flowable a try. Order from your dealer or call Kerr for more information at (800) KERR-123, ext. 7025, or visit www.kerrdental.com.

Pearl Updates

• The lightweight esa™ (extended straight attachment) disposable prophy angle from Preventech is now being made to fit the Star Titan. The esa has a very comfortable non-slip grip that attaches quickly and easily to the handpiece motor, eliminating the metal straight handpiece. You will never have to buy or maintain a straight handpiece again. The original esa fits the Midwest Shorty and Rhino handpieces. Order from your dealer, call (800) 474-8681 for ordering information, or visit www.preventech.com

• CoreRestore2 from Kerr is now highly filled for increased strength and is easier to mix with a non-sticky viscosity. Kerr has added a Dual Cure Activator for Optibond Solo Plus so no more worries about bonding. This product is designed to solve today's problems with core build-up. Order CoreRestore2 from your dealer, or visit www.kerrden tal.com.

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." Dr. Blaes is a member of the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration. He may be reached at joeb@pennwell.com.

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