First Impressions: July 2008

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.


Strong-Massad Denplant Tray
Global Dental Impression Trays

The Massad Impression Trays for edentulous patients revolutionized impression taking for the edentulous segment of the dental market. It was recognized, however, that most patients are either completely or partially dentulous, and that this population requires a good impression tray for various indirect procedures as well. This led to the development of the Strong-Massad Den-plant Tray for nonedentulous treatment procedures. Ideally, an impression tray is suitable for most of the indirect procedures that a dentist performs, and the Denplant Tray certainly fits the bill. It is translucent for greater visual access, and the tray offers an extended handle that is more ergonomic and allows lip manipulation without interference. The slots permit the unimpeded flow and retention of impression materials. Once polymerized, impression materials suffer minimal dislodgement. An innovative removal ledge provides bilateral finger rests for those hard-to-remove complete arch restorations. The tooth channel is wide enough to accommodate most arch forms. The traysí marginal flange areas are made of a material specifically designed for easy heat molding, providing better adaptation; the thickened peripheral borders maintain an ideal functional anatomy. The Denplant trays are designed to a physiological model that is geared toward duplicating functional anatomy more easily and quickly. The Denplant trays are heat-moldable for shape manipulation or the repositioning of various parts; simply microtorching the appropriate area (or a hot water bath) is all that is required. The tray material has no "memory." Thus, it retains the heat-molded position permanently. The Strong-Massad Denplant Trays are indicated for immediate and partial dentures, implant procedures, combination cases, crowns and implants, orthodontic impressions, and snoring and sleep apnea appliances. For more information, call (888) 336-8729 or visit the Web site at







Flexi-Post Fiber
Essential Dental Systems

The effective restoration of endodontically treated teeth is one of the more common tasks that the dentist is asked to perform. While there is significant academic controversy about the use of posts in post-endodontic situations, it is generally agreed that where there is little remaining coronal tooth structure, posts aid greatly in building up the retention form of the abutment. The practitioner is faced with 2 major concerns when inserting posts. One is how to secure the post into the coronal portion of the endodontically treated canal effectively and predictably. The other is how to adhere the core material that will shape the abutment to the post projection that has been anchored into the root chemically and/or mechanically. Essential Dental Systems' Flexi-Post Fiber is a post designed to provide retention with or without the use of a bonding agent. The tap creates an internal threadline in the canal, closing on insertion to deliver maximum retention with minimal stress. Multiple tiers in the shaft provide stability that cannot be achieved with traditional dowel posts. The second tier on the Flexi-Post Fiber increases the intimate fit of the post with the radicular segment where the canal widens, increasing post stability and thereby reducing the likelihood of cement breakdown. The projecting Flexi-Post Fiber head is highly retentive with its horizontal and vertical grooves that serve to anchor the core material securely. Its low profile preserves coronal tooth structure, and like all fiber posts, the Flexi-Post Fiber is tooth-colored, making it easy to use with aesthetic restorations. For more information, call (800) 22-FLEXI (223-5394), or visit the company Web site at

All-Ceramic Preparation Kit

The scope of ceramic restorations is increasing rapidly becoming stronger, more functional, and more aesthetic every year. In fact, they are seriously beginning to replace metals in in-direct restorations. Tooth preparations for porcelain-fused-to-metal and all-ceramic restorations are similar but different, as are the tools used to accomplish these tasks. It makes more sense to use bur sizes and shapes that have been specifically designed for a specified preparation. Shofu's All-Ceramic Preparation Kit contains an assortment of specially coated diamond instruments. It contains 17 preparation diamonds with lengths varying from 3.5 to 9 mm and working area diameters from 1.1 to 2 mm. These burs are manufactured in a computer-controlled environment that delivers cutting accuracy, consistency of operation, and extended use. The various diamond burs have been specifically designed for the preparation of anterior teeth, preparation of premolars, preparation of molars, and inlay and veneer preparations. The shapes of the all-ceramic Shofu Diamonds have been optimized to match the design of the final preparation that the dentist is looking to develop, creating a shape and a taper that is ideally suited to the ultimate ceramic restoration. Two sizes of depth guide groove cutters are included as well as a cervical enamel finishing bur and 7 bur shapes in regular and superfine grit for veneer and onlay preparation. The Shofu All-Ceramic Preparation Kit is part of the Robot Diamond series, which has a multi-coating design that produces a durable surface on an efficiently cutting bur that is less likely to become clogged. The one-piece stainless steel shank, combined with an even distribution of diamond particles, provides smooth and effortless cutting. For more information, call (800) 827-4638 or visit

Canon 720-IS (SLA) Dental Kit

Dental photography is a passion for some and an obligation for others. For most practitioners, it is an essential utility. The dental camera has many imaging uses in the practice: full-face, intraoral, smile pictures, complete arch, and individual teeth. The learning curve for using a single camera (especially a complex one) for all these purposes can be rather long and tiresome. CliniPix has introduced the Canon 720-IS (SLA) Dental Kit. It is a simplified and inexpensive system that can produce excellent pictures for most dental needs. SLA stands for small, light, and affordable. Although it is not as versatile as dedicated dental SLR cameras, the SLA is compact and offers 8-megapixel pictures. (Typically, most dentists will only use one eighth of this capacity or less when taking intraoral photographs.) The 2.5-in LCD screen on the camera back provides a clear view of the objects being photographed. The 6X optical zoom allows for focusing at 10 inches from the patient as it captures excellent detail that is readily magnifiable for easy viewing (or presentation) purposes. The settings are few, and the change from one view to another is even less complicated. The SLA goes from full-face to smile to complete arch to individual tooth quickly and easily, usually with a single press of a button. While the SLA provides excellent photographs with a very easy learning curve, its price tag is also rather small, coming it at about one third or one fourth of typical SLR systems. It is useful right out of the box, and the learning curve for most noncamera buffs is a matter of just a few minutes. For more information, call (866) 254-6749 or visit the Web site

Bioclear Matrix System
Bioclear by Dr. David Clark

Figures 1 to 6. The sequence of insertion of the Bioclear Diastema Closure matrix and composite placement. The patented Bioclear shape allows wedge-free stabilization to eliminate the "black triangle" and without the unhealthy ledge that often accompanies diastema closure.

Dentists have little to worry about when restoring interproximal areas, except for the contact point, the contours, the margins, the embrasures, and the emergence profile (among others). Most existing matrices were designed for amalgam. Most of to-day's restorations are composite resin. Hence the dilemma: Can we use the old matrix system effectively, or should we look for those that have been specifically designed for todayís restorative materials? Bioclear by Dr. David Clark has introduced the Bioclear Matrix System, the comprehensive replacement for metal matrices and wedges designed for resin dentistry. The Matrix System forms biomimetic restorations mimicking natural tooth structure that are far easier to maintain, easier to place, and tend to function effectively over a longer period of time. The translucent Bioclear matrix allows the curing light to shine right through for more complete and faster polymerization. It also reduces the potential for voids and fault lines while maintaining the structural integrity of the tooth. Unlike traditional matrices, Bioclear Matrices are tooth- and surface-specific, with 9 unique shapes. When used with Interproximators (anatomic silicone wedges that are specifically designed for the variously shaped interproximal regions that are found in between the dentition), the teeth are effectively separated and restored to rounded, smooth embrasures. Bioclear Matrices are designed for minimally traumatic and minimally invasive restorations and are tailored to every tooth. Several kits are available: the blue kit is for posterior segments, the pink for anteriors, and green for diastema closures. Color-coordinated and organized, the Bioclear System offers an efficient and effective approach to recreating anatomic interproximals with composite resin. The future of composite restorations has never been so clear. For more information, call (253) 961-4935 or visit the company Web site at

Clinical Photography
PhotoMed International

As important as dental photography is to the dental professional, incorporating it into routine daily practice procedures can be rather complex. The hardware can be confusing, the instructions intimidating, the terms new and unfamiliar, and the concepts counterintuitive. In particular, for those dentists who spent time and effort to become familiar with analog (or film) photography, the new age of digital cameras can be daunting at best. Adding to the confusion are the great variety of photographic instruments and many different extraoral and intraoral views that may be required for a given case. PhotoMed International has developed an instructional DVD entitled Clinical Photography. Dr. Christopher Orr, the founder of the British Academy of General Dentistry and a skilled photographer and teacher, explains the fundamentals of photography, how to choose equipment, what the minimum hardware and software requirements are, and the basic setup of a dental photography system. After a clear definition of what the various numerical values in photography mean, the instructional CD teaches how to pose patients and how to take various appropriate views successfully. It includes a set of laminated sheets that show photographs for cosmetic dentistry, facial aesthetics, periodontology, prosthodontics, orthodontics, and laboratory work. Clinical Photography in the practice is important for (1) documentation of immediate-result and extended treatment cases, (2) following patients historically from their entry into the practice through ongoing treatment, and (3) marketing. It is also an excellent tool for (1) developing clinical expertise, (2) documenting with accurate photographs every treatment stage, and (3) evaluating them critically. It offers the refinement of skills and true continuing education within the practice. For more information, call (800) 998-7765 or visit

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 .