Oral Health Group

Product Profile: A Review of Dental Products

March 1, 2003
by Oral Health


Obtura Spartan


Using ultrasonic tips in restorative dentistry has gained popularity recently, partly because of the growing options available. Several companies now manufacture their own particular version and new tips are in the development stages and will soon hit the market. If you already have a piezo-electric ultrasonic unit, there is a good chance that there are tips that you could try for your unit.

I tried the recently introduced SL (surface lesion) tips by Obtura Spartan, which work on the Spartan MTS Piezo-Electric Ultrasonic Unit. My first impression was that they are very inefficient at cutting through enamel or hard dentin, greatly limiting their uses. I spent five minutes removing mandibular incisal stain with an SL tip to only get unsatisfactory results. In fiustration, I switched to a small round burr and in a matter of seconds, painlessly removed the remaining stained dentin and finished the case.

These tips do have some very practical applications. They are helpful in reaching some difficult access spots and in subgingival areas where you want to avoid bleeding. Great for loosening cement, they’ve helped me retrieve a post and do crown margin repairs. Consider them also for certain paedodontic situations as they are patient-friendly and quieter than a burr, such as prophylaxis prior to pit and fissure sealing or removing tenacious stains.

Regardless of their limitations, I found the SL tips to be novel and fun to try. It is prudent to be aware of the new and more practical tips that are being developed and we should look forward to progress in this area. The SL tips are sold in Canada for just over $100.00 each.

For information: 877-485-3556 or www.obtura.com


Part of Planmeca Group of Finland

I was attracted by the colorful handles of these instruments at a dental meeting. They beckon you to pick them up and once held, you become curious to try them as they are comfy to hold. Manufactured in Finland, this is a full line of ergonomically-designed handles with a non-slip, rubbery, light material, which autoclaves well and comes with a five-year warranty. The metal used is patented as LM-DuraGrade supersteel, which exhibits high wear resistance of the blade metal.

Due to their shape, these instruments do not fit as neatly in drawers or on most standard trays, but if you really get into them, trays and organizers that fit them are available. Because of their bulk, they do take up more room in shallow drawers. Also, more attention may be required in cleaning the handles than metal handles, as some materials (i.e. cements) really stick to them.

LM instruments are competitively priced to their steel-handled counterparts. They have a ‘buy three get two free’ offer for a limited time and are available from Wright Dental Canada Ltd.

Contact: 800-268-3863 or www.lminstruments.com



If you do indirect restorations, there are a number of similar products that will save you time when making provisionals. Tempfil is a newcomer, and joins other better-established products such as Fermit, EZ-Temp from Cosmodent, Cavit LC from 3MEspe and Systemp from Vivadent. Placing and removing these products is a breeze because the resin remains flexible when cured.

The technique is quite simple. Be sure to layer separator (included in the kits) over any resin placed in the preparation site and avoid undercuts. Then grossly fin the prepared tooth with either Onlay or Inlay material (Onlay is a bit firmer), let the patient quickly bite on it to achieve occlusion and clean the margins and interproximals of excess material. After a quick light cure of 10 seconds, check the occlusion with articulating paper and using a carving instrument correct the bite, followed by further curing as the manufacturer suggests. Warn the patient to avoid the restoration to some extent as it feels spongy when you bite on it. Also, this material stains easily, so don’t be surprised if it comes back fluorescent yellow or orange. To remove it, local is usually not necessary, just place a scaler tip under a margin and with a flicking motion pry it loose.

I found the Tempfil material to be a bit drier and firmer than the others, but removal was more easily facilitated with this product. The shade is a bit more translucent on placement also.

For information: 800-KERR-123.



This product is a winner for me. Call and ask for an assorted trial pack to be sent to you. Available in three shapes (inverted cup, point and disc), these are one-step composite silicone polishers. They can take most composites to a beautiful sheen with a light touch and with more pressure can shape the restoration also. I have also used them for polishing and trimming provisionals, dentures, bite planes and ortho appliances. Sold as disposable, it is not recommended to sterilize them as it can affect their integrity. They are sold in packs of 50 at a price of US$82.50. At more than CD$2.50 per polisher, this is an expensive luxury, although it can reduce chairside time considerably and you are using one item instead of several.

For information: 1-800-82SHOFU


Heraeus Kulzer

If you are a Kulzer composite user, you might like to try Venus Color Adaptive Matrix. Venus is a hybrid microfill composite that distinguishes itself amongst composites by its handling properties. It is quite firm and displays minimal “slump”, allowing one to get creative with form prior to the polishing steps. This can shorten working time considerably– welcome news in the arena of composite placement.

Manufacturers make the claim that Venus is unique due to translucency properties and available two layer shades in that it creates nearly invisible margins. With the limited shade I used, I did not find that to be the case very often, which is fine, as it is useful to be able to distinguish restorative margins. I did not find this material to be as polishable as some similar products, but because of its firmness and ease of handling, I really like it. I was impressed with the user guide that comes with the product. A CD is also available. The cost is competitive to similar products. One gram samples are available on request.

For information: 800-431-1785.

Oral Health encourages dentists to share their experiences with new products. This month’s products are reviewed by Dr. Janice Goodman who has no affiliation with the products reviewed. Send to: cwilson@oralhealthjournal.com.

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