Joseph A. Blaes, DDS
Did you know that for every hour jet-fighter pilots spend in the air, they spend four to five hours in briefing, debriefing and preparation? Before they start their engines, a thorough inspection is done, following a detailed checklist. How much time do you spend practicing for a golf match? We all spend very little time preparing for the important procedures that we do every day. Do you have a checklist for your crown-preparation appointment? Would it make a difference in the stress level during that procedure? Here are two materials that we use every day to make our procedures more stress-free and enjoyable.
Pearl #1 - Vitremer Luting Cement by 3M Dental Products (Figure 1). I have been searching for the ideal cement since I began doing crowns and bridges-that one cement that I can use for everything. Well, guess what? It does not exist. However, if you are looking for a cement that is easy to use for porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and all-metal inlays and crowns, then I urge you to try Vitremer Luting Cement. This material is a major breakthrough in dental-cement technology. Vitremer is one of the new glass ionomer resins that combine the best characteristics of both materials into one. You get all the great properties of a glass ionomer combined with the important resin cement advantages of zero solubility and high-fracture toughness. Zero solubility provides high confidence in marginal integrity, whereas fracture toughness provides increased confidence in the cement performance. Vitremer Luting Cement chemically bonds to tooth structure without acid-etch techniques, releases fluoride, has a moderate strength that allows for later crown removal and is radiopaque. When mixed, the material takes on a mousse-like consistency, which makes it easy to pick up with an instrument. This lack of flow does require some practice when loading the crown. Your assistants will love the ease of mixing, loading and cleanup of instruments. No more scraping set cement off the instruments. Cleanup of excess cement is very quick and easy a few minutes after seating the crown. Since I have been using Vitremer Luting Cement, reports of tooth sensitivity while seating and reports of postoperative tooth sensitivity have been almost zero. So there you have it . . . a cement with all the properties you are looking for-chemical bond; fluoride release; strength; zero solubility; easy to mix, load, seat and clean up; and no sensitivity. Order from your dealer.
Pearl #2 - Tenure Quik by Den-Mat (Figure 2). The folks at Den-Mat have done it again-a single-bottle bond with a simplified technique. We have been using the new Tenure Quik for about four months now, and it is great. The recommended technique eliminates a number of steps compared to other one-bottle products. When I first started using it, I asked my assistants if we were skipping something. I kept rereading the instructions to see if I was missing any steps. Now you can have a single bonding system that is truly simple to use. In just one bottle, you get light-cure and dual-cure capabilities with no mixing. Tenure Quik can be used with your favorite light-curing, self-curing or dual-curing restorative material. It also will bond to prepared gold, porcelain and semiprecious metals. The research numbers on bond strengths look great. Tenure Quik can make your life in the treatment room easier by eliminating some materials from your inventory and by saving time during your procedures. The dispensing system is excellent; you can actually dispense one drop at a time. This is a money-saver, too. Call Den-Mat at (800) 445-0345 to order.
Dr. Blaes practices in the St. Louis area and has developed every type of dental practice from solo to a 10-man group. He is known for his expertise in dental techniques and his innovative systems designs. He lectures, writes and conducts "in-house" seminars. He may be reached at (314) 843-3300.