First Impressions: March 2009

In First Impressions George Freedman, DDS, gives readers a brief summary of products that have recently been introduced to dentistry, based on his clinical experience.

RelyX Fiber Post

When placing a fiber post into an endodontically treated tooth, the dentist is required not only to select the post material, but to separately choose the various components of the entire restorative system that will be used to fabricate the post and core. While most of the components that a practitioner may select are compatible, some may not be; unfortunately, the only indication of incompatibility is a failed restoration. 3M ESPE has developed the RelyX Fiber Post System, a unique approach to the postendodontic post and core procedure: every required component is included as a part of a comprehensive and sequential dentist kit.
The system has 3 specialized components that work together to provide a stronger, more efficient, and more predictable application that facilitates the chairside clinical treatment process. The RelyX Fiber Post is elastically similar to dentin, absorbing and distributing stresses, thereby reducing the potential for root fracture (when compared to ceramic or metal posts). It has excellent fatigue resistance and improved dentin-shade aesthetics. RelyX is simple to use; there is no need to etch, prime, or bond separately in the far reaches of the post space or to activate the fiber post surface for chemical adhesion. The elongation tip that readily attaches to the RelyX capsule provides an extension that allows for easy application of the cement directly into the prepared post space. This offers clinical confidence when introducing cement to areas that are hard to see and access and helps to eliminate cement voids or air bubbles. The RelyX Fiber Post System is well organized, easy to use, and relatively rapid in clinical application. For more information, call (800) 634-2249 or visit

Zenith Dental

Gone are the days when dentists were associated only with trauma and pain. Today, the dentist is more often perceived as a purveyor of smiles. The recent era of aesthetic and cosmetic dentistry has seen the rapid rise of 2 categories of dental materials: composites and ceramics. These 2 materials, used together or individually, have revolutionized not only the practice of dentistry but the public’s perception of dental practitioners. Early on, a problem arose in how to chemically associate these 2 dissimilar materials such that they would adhere reliably and function intraorally for extended periods. Research in other fields demonstrated that a class of materials called silanes could relate ceramics to composites and create a functional bond between these 2 materials, a practical situation when both are used in dental restorations. The major clinical concern associated with the use of premixed silanes is their typically short shelf life (a year or less for most manufacturers). Zenith has introduced its Silane material for adhering siliceous ceramics and glass fiber composite posts to adhesives and luting composites. The system consists of 2 components: an adhesive silane and an activator. They are directed to be mixed in a 1:1 ratio immediately prior to each application. The major advantage of this approach is the perfectly fresh silane mix for every application. The chairside mix method ensures that the shelf life is considerably extended, eliminating the dentist’s concern that the material that is to be used to for the patient may, in fact, be nonreactive. Silane provides a reliable interface bond between the ceramics, glass-fiber reinforced posts, adhesives, and cements in dental restorations. For more information, call (800) 662-6383 or visit the Web site

Atlas Implants

Denture statistics are well established: approximately 25% of American adults over 60 years old have lost all their teeth. Complete tooth loss is associated with reduced physical, psychological, and social functions, diminished chewing ability, and can be detrimental to overall health. Ill-fitting dentures compromise their wearers by interfering with 2 of the most basic tasks in everyday life: eating and speaking. Many dentists do not actively seek denture patients and have no solutions for ill-fitting dentures. Dentatus has introduced Atlas Implants, designed to retain lower dentures for patients who have suffered moderate to severe mandibular bone loss. They offer affordable comfort and an opportunity to retrofit and reline existing lower-arch dentures over flapless, one-stage Atlas Implants. The Atlas NDI procedure consists of a rapid and comfortable, minimally invasive treatment, without surgical flaps, that dramatically reduces chair time. This makes it affordable to more patients. Since Atlas Implants can be loaded immediately, patients can be treated within an hour, and they walk out of the practice with a comfortable, stable denture. The Atlas procedure is a straightforward one-stage installation that tolerates an-gled implant positioning. The hollowed denture base is prepared with a bead line that retains the reline without adhesives. Tuf-Link silicone polymerizes in 4 to 5 minutes and maintains a stable, replaceable form. The completed implant-borne denture is ready to wear within one hour and offers stress-free denture place­ment and removal without soft-tissue scrapes, sores, or lesions. Hands-on workshops are provided to familiarize the dentist with every step in the diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical stages of the Atlas Implant procedure. The course also includes marketing and patient presentation. For more information, call (800) 323-3136 or visit

Sani-Treet Green
Enzyme Industries

Cleansing dental instruments prior to sterilization is an absolute requirement in the dental office. The same rule applies to the often forgotten (or conveniently ignored) evacuation system. Protecting the environment is also an absolute necessity. This can be a problem. In some cases, the materials and the techniques that are best suited to cleansing in the dental practice tend to have a potentially negative impact on the environment in terms of chemical discharge and waste. In addition, many cleansers tend to foam excessively. This can place stress on the evacuation system as the copious foam may damage the high-speed turbines that drive the evacuation equipment. Enzyme Industries has introduced Sani-Treet Green, an exclusive combination of new-generation surfactants and enzymes that naturally digest and clean away protein buildups, maintaining optimal suction power in evacuation equipment. The evacuation cleaner (dilution: 1 oz per quart) makes the entire system, including the trap, clean and odor-free, without the use of harsh chemicals. It is compatible with amalgam separators. Sani-Treet Green is a multipurpose enzymatic concentrate, and it is also recommended as an instrument presoak (dilution: 1 oz per gallon), cleansing the in-struments down to the metal prior to sterilization. Depending on the tap water used to dilute the concentrate, the functional pH is between 6.7 and 8.9. Sani-Treet Green is an eco-friendly cleansing agent that biodegrades quickly and efficiently. It is both nontoxic (important for staff) and noncaustic (gentle to instruments and equipment). It has a pleasant lemongrass lavender scent that is not overbearing, and it offers a clean, freshly scrubbed fragrance to dental equipment. For additional information, call (888) 236-9963 or visit the Web site located at

Wolf High-Speed Handpieces
Dental Film Club

The high-speed dental handpiece has been the restorative dentist’s principal preparation instrument for more than 50 years. High-speed tooth instrumentation has extended the ability of the profession to create far more preparations in far less time, thereby extending the benefits of dental treatment to a larger segment of the population. Indeed, the utilization of high-speed preparation, along with dental anesthesia, has made dental procedures more palatable to the majority of the population and has increasingly led to the maintenance of the natural dentition (or most of it) over the entire lifetime. Dental handpieces used to function effectively for a very long time, years in fact. However, in the early 1990s, it was recognized that sterilization of dental handpieces by autoclave or heat was mandatory between patient uses. The sterilization process tends to limit handpiece use to approximately one year or less before major (and often expensive) overhauls are required. Dental Film Club has recently introduced its Wolf line of high-speed handpieces. The handpieces cost significantly less than an overhaul of most brands. Wolf Handpieces are ergonomically balanced for ease of use, and their low noise level reduces sound stresses for both the patient and the dentist. Compatible with majorbrand couplers, they are available in fiber optic (dual-beam for shadow-free visibility) and nonfiber optic, swivel, and a variety of port configurations, matching just about every clinical configuration. Best of all, there is no high repair cost stress. After the one-year guarantee is up, simply get a new handpiece for less than the cost of repairing the old one. For more information, call (888) 768-1230 or visit the Web site located at

Dam Cool Composite Dam Material
Danville Materials

The paint-on dam technique has been gaining in popularity as more and more techniques that require anterior segment isolation are introduced into the dental profession. Procedures such as dental bleaching, sandblasting, air abrasion, and ceramic repair (among others) all require that the adjacent soft and hard tissues be protected from the process and/or the materials that are used. In situations where quadrant or complete-arch rubber dam placement (requiring rubber dam clamps, hole punching, individual interproximal insertion, and thus, extensive chair time) are not required, a regional or limited isolation technique is very useful. Danville Materials has recently introduced its Dam Cool composite resin-based isolation material. This is a flowable, paint-on resin material that is delivered to the tissues to be isolated through a small syringe (with a tip) for precise placement. Its intense color readily indicates which areas have been covered. Most importantly, unlike many predecessors, it stays cool and comfortable for the patient both during and after light curing. Dam Cool is tear-resistant, flexible during the procedure, and easy to remove after its completion. Beyond just protecting the soft and hard oral tissues during treatments where caustic materials are to be used, Dam Cool can also be used to seal around conventional rubber dams or to repair torn areas. The paint-on dam can be utilized to expose specific tooth areas for microabrasion while protecting surrounding tissues from surface mottling and erosion. The dam’s rapid application and removal, as well as precise placement, make it useful in blocking out undercuts prior to impressions. Dam Cool is comfortable, easy to place, easy to work around, and easy to remove. For more information, call (800) 827-7940 or visit the Web site located at
Dr. Freedman is past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, is the Materials & Technology Editor for Oral Health, and is the Materials Editor and author of the monthly section “First Impressions” for Dentistry Today. He is the author or co-author of 11 textbooks, more than 400 dental articles, and numerous CDs, video and audiotapes, and is a Team Member of REALITY. Dr Freedman is a co-founder of the Canadian Academy for Esthetic Dentistry and a Diplomat of the American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry. He lectures internationally on dental aesthetics, dental technology, and photography. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Freedman maintains a private practice limited to Esthetic Dentistry in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at (905) 513-9191 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .