RelyX™ Unicem Self-Adhesive Universal Resin Cement
Universal cement offers simplicity and a history of strong performance.
When choosing a cement, particularly an all-in-one, it is important to consider a manufacturer’s reputation and the clinical history of the product itself. Several years ago, the dental industry saw a surge in the introductions of all-in-one cements. While many of the products that were introduced have since undergone significant changes and reformulations to address problems, 3M™ ESPE™ RelyX™ Unicem Self-Adhesive Universal Resin Cement (Figure 1) has remained a top performer worldwide, and is now the number one selling cement in the United States.
The luxury of using a universal cement is its simplicity—with just one carpule and no preparation work necessary on the tooth, the clinician can simply inject the cement into the crown, seat it on the tooth, and clean away the excess. Designed to be self-adherent and moisture tolerant, RelyX Unicem cement saves time by eliminating the steps of etching, priming, and bonding. Additionally, clean-up of the cement is simple after a short exposure to the curing light on all of the margins—the excess becomes tacky and can be wiped away easily. RelyX Unicem cement is suitable for use with any full-coverage restoration, including gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all-ceramic/composite crowns. The material has the esthetic properties to work well with all-ceramic restorations in the esthetic zone, and is also available in five shades to optimize intended results.
An additional benefit of using RelyX Unicem cement is that postoperative sensitivity is drastically reduced as compared to cements that require etching and bonding. Its self-adhesive properties mean that it does not etch as deeply as a conventional etchant, preventing sensitivity issues. The material’s unique chemistry gives it the ability to neutralize quickly after application, a key factor in its clinical success. The cement’s chemical structure means that it is dispensed in an acidic state, allowing it to demineralize and penetrate into the tooth. As the material cures, however, its pH increases to a neutral level of 7, at which point it becomes hydrophobic. This property is a key factor in the cement’s ability to remain intact in a moist environment by resisting water uptake.
Crown Seating Technique
Thoroughly clean the prepared tooth with a pumice slurry and rinse with a water spray. Lightly air dry the preparation with two to three blasts of air, or dry with a cotton pad. To achieve ideal moist tooth conditions, a high-volume evacuator can also be used. It is important to not over dry the preparation, as this may lead to postoperative sensitivity. The surface of the tooth should retain a slightly glossy appearance. After this cleaning, it is also important to not apply substances such as desensitizers, disinfectants, astringents, or dentin sealants, as the residues from these materials may compromise the cement’s bonding strength and setting reaction.
If dispensing RelyX Unicem cement from the Aplicap™ or Maxicap™ Capsule, mix the product for the recommended length of time. If utilizing the Clicker™ dispenser (Figure 2), dispense the material onto the mixing surface and mix with a spatula for 20 seconds. Generously apply the cement to the inside of the crown and seat the restoration on the prepared tooth. Light-cure the area for 2 to 3 seconds, or simply wait for 2 to 3 minutes for the excess cement to become tacky. Use a scaler or other instrument to remove the excess material.
The cement will self-cure within 5 to 6 minutes if left on its own, or it can be light-cured for 20 seconds per surface. After this step, the crown is ready for finishing and polishing (Figure 3).
Confidence in the Material’s History
There are a number of other universal cements available to choose from, but RelyX Unicem cement offers the benefits of being a 3M ESPE product, meaning it was developed by a company with the scientific resources to make it the best possible material for the dentist. As the years pass, its superior performance is reinforcing the importance of that background. The material’s consistency over time and its simplicity of use make it a truly valuable tool for clinicians.
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3M ESPE Dental Products
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About the Author
This article was written by Christopher Ramsey, DMD.