First Impressions: May 2007

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



Alginate impression materials are very useful in a variety of dental procedures. While not accurate enough for impressions for permanent crowns and bridges, alginates do very well for study models, opposing dentition models, and as templates for provisionals. The concerns that every practitioner faces with alginate-like materials include the uniformity of the mix and the length of the mixing time. When is the alginate actually ready for insertion into the mouth? How bubble-free is the material internally? Zhermack’s Alghamix  is an ergonomically designed, multifunctional high-tech mixer for alginates and C-silicones. The Alghamix’s uniform mixing capability optimizes the mixing time of these impression materials, speeding up the setting times and ensuring the quality of the final impression. The Alghamix has 2 mixing speeds: a lower speed for incorporating water into the alginate powder and a higher speed for the energetic mixing that is required after the 2 materials are totally integrated. This offers a uniform and bubble-free mixing for homogeneously smooth mixtures and high-quality impressions. The constant mixing speeds standardize the overall process of combining the different materials, and can reduce mixing time by as much as 30%. This time savings, in conjunction with effective practice management techniques, can improve clinical efficiency and lead to a financial benefit for the practitioner. The 3-D positioning of the mixing bowl encourages the operator to work in a more balanced arrangement where the physical environment is less stressful. The rotation of the automated bowl saves the wear and tear on the shoulder, elbow, and the wrist of the operator. Alghamix takes the stress out of alginate mixing.

For more information, call (877) 819-6206 or visit


Since the introduction of the LED (light-emitting diode) curing lights, the dentist’s options for composite polymerization have been greatly simplified. Generally, LED curing lights are effective, efficient, versatile, ergonomic, and easier than ever to use. In the comparative evaluation of new curing lights that have come to market, innovative applications and exceptional features are always the main attractions. The fundamental question for researchers and manufacturers is how to improve on products that are already excellent and extremely useful in the practice. The FUSION from DentLight uses a patented light-generating technology to provide an outstanding clinical output of more than 1,500 mW/cm2. Its novel features offer a high power density over an extended wavelength range that provides worry-free bonding. The light beaming technology significantly reduces the dispersion of light along its direction of propagation and narrows the angle of light diffraction, providing a concentrated and relatively wide curing spot. The FUSION’s high power output carries the polymerizing photons further into the composite, making the active working distance longer and allowing deeper bulk curing of the composite restoration. In fact, as composites with ever lower polymerization shrinkage properties are developed, the FUSION curing light may allow single-step bulk curing of these materials (as opposed to the slower,  sequential curing of individual thin layers). The FUSION cures 2 mm of A3 and lighter shades in 5 seconds. The curing light’s all-metallic body dissipates generated heat uniformly and helps to prevent inadvertent breakage. FUSION’s smart recharge format eliminates charging downtime by allowing operation in the corded mode even when the battery is low. FUSION takes light-curing to the next level.

For more information, call (800) 763-6901 or visit

NTI nano | prep Diamonds
AXIS Dental

Today’s practitioner finds that the clinical focus is increasingly on conservative preparations. The general agreement among both dental professionals and patients is that conservative dentistry is the way of the future. The less tooth structure that is removed, the better the long-term prognosis for both the restoration and the tooth. Over the past few years, there has been much talk of minimally invasive dentistry, conservative dentistry, and ultraconservative dentistry; but unfortunately, the dental technologies and restorative materials needed to perform these procedures have not always been available. The NTI nano | prep Diamonds from AXIS Dental have been specifically designed for the ultraconservative preparation of teeth. The tiny, nanosized heads of these diamond burs not only allow but also actually encourage minimally invasive dentistry. Often, no anesthesia is required, a feature that patients truly appreciate. The slender necks permit precise optical control of the working area throughout the procedure. The NTI nano | prep Diamonds, designed for exploring pits and fissures, are offered in 7 different friction grip shapes,  providing the practitioner with an excellent latitude in preparation shapes and sizes. These burs are coated with ultrafine nano-grit diamonds for precise and conservative tooth preparation. In addition to pits and fissures, caries as well as old restorations are readily removable with the NTI nano | prep Diamond instruments. These instruments can also be used to insert narrow grooves and tiny boxes for additional retention in class V and other small preparations. The NTI nano | prep Diamonds are available in packs of 5 cutting instruments. Alternately, the NTI nano | prep Diamonds are packaged in a micro preparation assortment that organizes an extensive variety of different shapes and sizes into a logical and clinically useful kit.

For more information, call (800) 355-5063 or visit the Web site.


The fabrication of dental provisional restorations is truly a dilemma for the practitioner; we want them to be strong but not too strong. They need to be aesthetically acceptable but not more so than the final restoration. They must be well-retained on the tooth but easy enough to remove with a flick of the scaler. With all these opposing requirements, it is no surprise that materials for temporary restorations have a hard time satisfying all the parameters that are set by the profession. Since the provisional is likely to be functional in the mouth for 1 to 2 weeks in most situations, the prevailing technique model is that they should be easy to manufacture chairside as well as functional and relatively aesthetic intraorally during their period of use. Cosmedent has recently introduced COSMETEMP, an improved provisional crown and bridge material. Its unique formula offers both high strength and aesthetics. COSMETEMP has excellent handling properties and can be dispensed and automixed with any 4:1 or 10:1 mixing gun. It is easily injected into the premade template and is readily removable from the preparation when the provisional crown is ready. COSMETEMP cures with virtually no oxygen-inhibited layer, providing a smooth and easily polishable surface. Its rapid set time and excellent gingival compatibility offer added convenience. As a result of its high polish and its fine margins, patients tend to be very satisfied with their provisional restorations that actually feel and look like natural teeth. COSMETEMP’s built-in fluorescence and a selection of 4 Vita shades provide the practitioner with additional aesthetic latitude. COSMETEMP allows the dental team to temp the tooth cosmetically.

For more information, call (800) 621-6729 or visit

Enamel Loc
Premier Dental Products

Ah, the sublime pleasure of placing fissure sealants on children…don’t we just love placing acid-etch on those kids’ teeth? As soon as the darting tongue inadvertently touches the etching gel anywhere on the teeth, we have a “situation” on our hands. The bitter taste upsets the child, and the hard-won cooperation and positive relationship that we have built up so carefully over the last few appointments evaporates in a single moment of etching. Premier Dental Products has introduced Enamel Loc, a self-etching, light-cured pit and fissure sealant. Since the etching process is eliminated, there is that much less time that the child has to spend in the chair, that much less likelihood that the child is irritated by the taste of the dental materials, and that much more likelihood that the dentist-patient relationship continues to grow as it should. The single-step application improves results by virtually eliminating the chance of site contamination. The self-etching reduces treatment time, rinsing, and gagging. Additional time-consuming steps such as drying and bonding are avoided. Enamel Loc has an excellent low-viscosity flow that wets the pits and fissures on the tooth surface optimally. The resin is filled to better resist normal wear and to provide dental protection for perhaps as long as the deciduous tooth remains in the mouth. Enamel Loc has a fluoride-releasing formula for additional protection. The natural white color of the Enamel Loc fits in well with the shading of the natural dentition. Only the dental team knows for sure that it is in place. Enamel Loc leaves your patient smiling; no etch, no fuss, no bother.

For more information, call (888) 670-6100 or visit

ParaPost Taper Lux

The general concept for the post-endodontic post is that it should adapt to the internal anatomy of the tooth and not vice-versa. Many canals are prepared using the crown-down greater taper file technique. This means that the post space naturally tapers toward the apex. Thus, it makes sense that the post should follow the dictates of the prepared canal’s anatomy as much as possible in order to preserve the remaining radicular structure. Coltène/Whaledent’s ParaPost Taper Lux is the most recent addition to its extensive post armamentarium. It is made of a translucent fiber resin post system that has 60% glass fiber and 40% resin. The large number of unidirectional fibers gives the post excellent properties: structural strength (1,600 MPa) and great compressive strength (630 MPa). A cross-section of the Taper Lux post shows the high fill ratio of the fibers in the system. The 0.04 taper of the post allows it to fit in easily to the remaining tooth structure with minimal preparation. The translucent, light-transmitting fiber resin in the ParaPost Taper Lux allows light-curing, and the post may be used with dual-cured cements and core materials, offering greater control over cement setting times and the anatomical shaping of the core. The rounded head designs of the ParaPost system minimize stress areas on the overlying core and hence provide a more predictable longevity to these restorations. The Taper Lux is offered in 4 sizes, each of which provides excellent radiopacity and simplified bonding to all adhesive materials. The ParaPost Taper Lux decreases stress on the core, on the tooth, and on the operator.

For more information, call (800) 221-3046 or visit the Web site located at

Dr. Freedman is past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and a founder of the Canadian Academy for Esthetic Dentistry. He is the Chairman of the Clinical Innovations Conference (London, United Kingdom) as well as the Dental Innovations Forum (Singapore). Dr. Freedman is the author or co-author of 9 textbooks, more than 220 dental articles, and numerous CDs, video and audiotapes, and is a Team Member of REALITY. He is a past director of CE programs in aesthetic dentistry at the Universities of California at San Francisco, Florida, UMKC, Minnesota, Baylor College, and Case Western Reserve, and was the founding Associate Director of the Esthetic Dentistry Education Center at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr Freedman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry and lectures internationally on dental aesthetics, dental technology, and photography. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Freedman maintains a private practice limited to aesthetic dentistry in Toronto, Canada, and can be reached at (905) 513-9191 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it