Inside My Practice with Bob Margeas
For my new monthly column in Inside Dentistry, I will truly give you a look "Inside My Practice" by highlighting unique, useful, and innovative products that I use with my patients. I will choose products from which I think you could also benefit–and I'll explain what makes them special.
It's important that you know that I am not paid by any company to talk about their products. You can trust that the advice I give is truly colleague to colleague, with no special interests in the way. I hope you will look to this column monthly to help you accomplish more efficient and better dentistry.
Bob Margeas, DDS
EPITEX® Finishing & Polishing Strips
Figure 1 | EPITEX Strips are a product a lot of people don't know about, but they're incredibly useful to me for polishing interproximal composite restorations.
The things that are unique about EPITEX Strips is they're very, very thin to get in between really small areas, they come in four different grits (coarse, medium, fine, and extra fine) and they come on a spool–so you pick out only how much you need and you cut it off the spool.You have the ability to use a shorter strip, and the different grits really help with polishing.
They will smooth the interproximal surfaces of your composites without opening contacts if you're very, very careful, and they'll give you a smooth surface going through the different grits.
Figure 2 | TheraCal is a new resin-modified calcium silicate product that can be used as a pulp protectant or a liner. It protects and insulates the pulp, but the really unique aspect is that the addition of resin means it is light cured. It's versatile, too, in that it can be used under amalgam, composites, and cements. I also find it helps with efficiency; before when you'd use a product like that, you'd have to allow it to chemically set, so it often took a longer time for it to set when you put it on the pulpal floor. Because TheraCal is light cured, you can use it in a direct or indirect pulp capping or as a protective liner.
If you have a really deep restoration, the calcium release stimulates the formation of secondary dentin. So if you have something that's really close to the pulp, you line that with that product, and it can actually form a layer of dentin–make it thicker, so that a lot of times you can prevent a root canal.
Figure 3 | DuraBraze is a brazed diamond, meaning the diamonds are brazed on the shank rather than glued or electric-plated. I did a 200-person lecture at the Chicago Midwinter meeting during which I asked the audience who knew about DuraBraze, and I was amazed that not a single hand went up. It's a great product that not enough people know about. The uniqueness of the diamond is that it cuts efficiently, especially in an electric handpiece. All the diamonds particles on the shank are basically the same height, so you get a really smooth cut, and the diamonds are spread apart so there's a lot of water that can go between the diamond particles. So the diamond particles sizes are spread out, they're even, and they don't come off the shank. In short, they last longer, are more durable, and cut better.
For me, an electric handpiece and a good diamond bur are all I need to be efficient and productive. Those are two things I don't want to skimp on, because it makes procedures more efficient and fast, and it's a more uniform cut for the patient.