First Impressions: October 2006

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.

SpirapostPFS - Zenith Dental

The insertion of a post-and-core assembly to create a crown foundation in an endodontically treated root is one of the most common, routine dental procedures. However, the post placement has always been a compromise. On one hand, the practitioner attempts to preserve as much of the remaining radicular tooth structure as possible. On the other hand, there must be enough canal structure removed to allow for the insertion and cementation of a post thick enough to withstand masticatory and parafunctional forces. Cast-metal posts were superseded by prefabricated metal posts, which were in turn succeeded by bondable, tooth-colored resin and fiber posts. The latest innovation is Zenith Dental's SpirapostPFS, a truly revolutionary post that challenges every established concept in this field. The SpirapostPFS is constructed of  a biocompatible core of polyfiber strands with surgical stainless steel wires twisted around it; this technology allows the post to self-adapt to the internal anatomy of the endodontically prepared canal and eliminates additional  internal reduction of tooth structure. The SpirapostPFS further adapts into the irregular shape of the endodontic canal by integrating polyfiber strands with the anatomy of the endodontically prepared tooth. The flexibility of the twisted wires and strands permits easy insertion of the post into the canal, even around internal curvature. The strands act as a rebar, reinforcing the post-and-core assembly as well as the entire tooth. Once the SpirapostPFS is cemented into the canal, its emergence  profile can be redirected to conform more readily with the required intraoral crown profile by simply bending the fibers with pliers. SpirapostPFS is clinically intuitive, and only one size is necessary (both tapered and parallel designs are available).
For more information, call (800) 662-6383 or visit

Ultra-Bond Plus - Den-Mat

The cementation of crowns and veneers is always a stressful appointment. In addition to fit on the tooth and form, the aesthetics are always a major concern. The last thing that is needed is a cumbersome and technique-sensitive cementation process. The easier and the more predictable that a cement is, the more likely that it will find its place in the dental armamentarium. As is evidenced by recent trends, dental restorative technology is increasingly turning to ceramic materials, as they are biocompatible, functional, and aesthetic. It simplifies matters greatly to have a single, multipurpose cement that can be used for a broad scope of indirect procedures. Ultra-Bond Plus from Den-Mat is just such a multipurpose cement, specifically designed for bonding ceramic restorations. Its single-action, dual-barrel syringe delivery system guarantees perfect consistency in dispensing and a perfect cement mixture every time. The delivery system is part of the cement, and no separate dispensing gun is required. Ultra-Bond Plus' low film thickness and water insolubility help to prevent marginal staining of the tooth- restorative interface, as is evidenced by the very low microleakage. Its low polymerization shrinkage helps to eliminate the possible crazing of the overlying porcelain restoration during the curing phase. The long chemical cure offers adequate working time for stress-free, multiple-unit cementation, while the light-cure backup develops complete polymerization in seconds. The cement is available in 4 shades and 4 block-out opaquers. Ultra-Bond Plus is radiopaque so that it can be readily distinguished from tooth structures on radiographs. A very straightforward cleanup leads in to easy polishing steps and superior aesthetic results.
For more information, call (800) 433-6628 or visit

PrepAir - Danville Materials

Tooth prep done with a fissure bur, resulting in unnecessary loss of healthy tooth structure.

Tooth prep done using air abrasion, offering the greatest patient comfort and the most conservative treatment available.
Air abrasion has developed into an indispensable tool in the dental practice. There are many situations, both intraoral and lab-related, where microabrasion can improve adhesion, clean the surface, prepare a cavity, remove unwanted cements, and perform a host of other clinically relevant functions. Danville Materials' PrepAir is a hand-held microabrasion unit that has been designed for simplified installation and ergonomic performance. A finger control button on the handpiece provides readily accessed instant on-off response and eliminates yet another control pedal underfoot. The flow of the abrasive material is set to a manageable minimum to reduce overspray, offering a controlled and even powder discharge. The interchangeable nozzles rotate 360°, permitting easy and direct access to every corner of the mouth. The PrepAir is designed to clean pits and fissures and to prepare cavities in decayed teeth. The PrepAir encourages minimalist cavity design and a very conservative approach for incipient lesion preparation. Many small lesions can be removed with air abrasion without patient discomfort,  and thus local anesthetic is not needed. The PrepAir can also be used to etch enamel prior to the adhesion of orthodontic brackets and to enhance bonding to enamel, dentin, and existing restorative materials. Immediately prior to the cementation of the definitive crown, the PrepAir quickly and easily removes cements, and in particular provisional cements; this is a procedure that used to take minutes and now takes several seconds. The PrepAir is easy to attach to a MicroEtcher quick-disconnect (as well as many other high-speed air outlets and connections). No electricity is required. Conservative dentistry is a breeze with the PrepAir.
For more information, call (800) 827-7940 or visit

Safe End Finishing Bur Kit - SS White

The Safe End SE6-10 Blade.

The Safe End SE9-20 Blade.

Finishing aesthetic restorations is so technique-sensitive that dentists often dread this step. Suitable procedure-oriented instruments make a tremendous difference in performing these procedures quickly, easily, and predictably on a regular basis. The main concerns that arise with finishing procedures are damaging the restoration, damaging the tissues (hard or soft) beyond the restoration, and damaging adjacent teeth or restorations. SS White's Safe End Finishing Burs are designed to maximize the ease of finishing while minimizing any risk of collateral damage during the finishing process. As their name indicates, Safe End Finishing Burs have noncutting ends that prevent inadvertent damage to gingival tissues (and the epithelial attachment) beyond the gingival margins of restorations. The Safe End design also prevents damage to the remaining dentin and enamel beyond the restoration's finish line. Developed as part of the Procedure Specific Instrument Series by SS White, each instrument has been designed to correlate with the clinical lengths and contours that are observed in natural tooth anatomy. There are 2 types of burs in the kit: 10-bladed burs that are used for gross reduction and 20-bladed burs designed for final finishing procedures. The kit contains finishing instruments in 3-, 4-, 6-, 8-, and 9-mm active lengths. Safe End Finishing Burs are intuitive and easy to use. After a sequential polish, once the 20-bladed finishing burs have completed contouring the restorative surfaces and the margins, typically very little additional polishing is required. Procedure Specific Safe End polishing increases practice efficiency by reducing the amount of time spent at each step and reducing the total number of required steps. The Safe End finish is the ideal finish to every restorative procedure.
For more information, call (800) 535-2877 or visit

OptiDisc - Kerr Dental

Polishing discs have been available to dentists from the earliest of times. They are essential tools for developing the high-gloss natural shine of convex tooth surfaces that are restored with composite materials. They are also frequently used to polish ceramic restorations (crowns, onlays, or veneers) and metal ones as well. Earlier polishing systems made polishing grit identification difficult; every disc was the same color, and the only means of differentiation was the hard-to-visualize grit size. Mandrels that protruded through the disc surface could inadvertently touch the tooth surface during polishing, marring or staining it. The new OptiDiscs from Kerr Dental have overcome many of these early concerns. For starters, the disc is mounted flush with the mandrel. This protects the surface being polished as well as neighboring teeth and soft tissues. An extra-coarse contouring disc is available for gross re-duction prior to finishing or polishing. The color-identified coding system indicates the grit type as well as the abrasive side; no more looking through loupes or feeling through gloves for the disc's active surface. The 3-step polishing system provides a natural-looking, high-gloss finish quickly and effectively. Since an additional pumice step is not required, there is little mess. Opti-Discs can be used with or without water, offering more flexibility and visibility to the practitioner. Most interesting of all, the OptiDisc is translucent. You can actually look through to see what you are working on and how much you have done. There is no need for frequent stops to view the surface in be-tween polishing stages. OptiDisc is the transparent choice for disc polishing of teeth. For more information, call (800) 537-7123 or visit

Crest PRO-HEALTH Toothpaste - Procter and Gamble

The dental profession has been very effective in educating the public about  the importance of regular toothpaste use. Tooth brushing with a dentifrice 2 or more times per day is an accepted part of the normal everyday routine. The mere act of manually brushing bristles over the tooth surfaces and interproximal areas serves to dislodge bacteria and disturb the process of caries development. However, the dental profession is always seeking to have toothpastes extend the range of home care and to provide patients with additional important benefits such as the prevention of caries, lessening of gingivitis, elimination of plaque, reduction or eradication of sensitivity, and the reduction of tartar buildup. From a social and emotional perspective, the ideal dentifrice should also noticeably freshen the breath and preferably whiten the teeth. The new Crest PRO-HEALTH toothpaste by Procter and Gamble  provides all of the above advantages and more. It has been designed to help the patient achieve comprehensive oral health simply by combining routine home care with regular dental maintenance visits. Crest PRO-HEALTH toothpaste contains a new group of technologically developed ingredients that are collectively called the Polyfluorite System. The stabilized stannous fluoride offers the patient significant decreases in gingival bleeding and dentinal sensitivity, superior caries protection (more than a standard 1,100 ppm fluoride toothpaste), while freshening the breath at the same time. Crest PRO-HEALTH's sodium hexametaphosphate inhibits calculus formation and resists stain deposition while it whitens the teeth by extrinsic stain removal. Now the dental professional can help every patient brush up on their oral health at home, making home care an important part of the solution. Crest PRO-HEALTH toothpasteÃs Polyfluorite System proactively does it all. For more information, call (800) 543-2577 or visit

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