First Impressions: June 2012

George Freedman, DDS


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.

Centrix Dental

Finishing strips should be tremendously useful in dental practice; unfortunately, conventional strips are virtually impossible to use intraorally while wearing gloves. There are several problems: the strip ends (or handles) are smooth and small, making a secure grip with wet gloves difficult. The end corners come to 90°, perforating the gloves and/or lacerating the cheeks. The strips are often too thick or too wide, destroying the contact that they are meant to polish. Centrix Dental recently introduced the GripStrip, a “smart” single-sided, diamond-coated strip for convenient interproximal finishing and polishing. The most important innovations are the ergonomic size and shape of the handles: a wider (10 mm), rounded, and perforated metal section at each end of the strip makes gripping secure and manipulation more accurate, even with wet gloved hands. The strip is divided into 2 working sections, 40 µm for stripping and 15 µm for polishing, with a grit-free contact insertion zone in between. The entire interproximal polishing is completed with a single instrument. At 8 cm long, the GripStrip has enough polishing surface for every task yet is short enough to fit into the mouth comfortably. The 0.05-mm strip thickness and metal rigidity make interproximal positioning a snap. (For ultratight contacts, preopen with a wedge.) The 2.5-mm height of the strip is ideal for polishing the interproximal surface of the restoration apical to the contact without damaging the interdental contact itself. The Grip- Strip is indicated for the interproximal finishing and polishing of res-torations, crown margins, and ce-ments, the removal of overhangs, and the beveling of adhesive preparations in difficult to access areas. GripStrips are autoclavable, providing multiple uses for each strip.
For more information, call (800) 235-5862 or visit the company Web site at

Safe-Flo Saliva Ejectors, Safe-Flo SE Valve, and Safe-Flo HV Valve
RJC Products

Vacuum line disinfection is routine in dental practices. The ADA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and most vacuum system manufacturers recommend the regular rinsing of vacuum lines. Cleaning with enzymatic agents before rinsing with water will make the rinsing process more effective and minimize biofilm. Depending on the rinsing routine, however, biofilm can develop on the inside of all the permanent components, minimizing the benefit of the cleansing process. In addition, the various line components have interfacial nooks and crannies that may not be properly decontaminated during the rinsing process. Routine vacuum line cleaning is often accomplished once a day, serving the following patient well, but how about all the others? When patients inadvertently close their lips on a suction device (suggested by some studies to be as high as 20%), backflow brings a variety of contaminants into the mouth. The Safe-Flo Saliva Ejector is designed to be a direct replacement for the standard low-volume saliva ejector. It consists of a flexible aspirator tip and a one-way check valve. When the on/off vacuum switch is opened, the vacuum system sucks air through the check valve and the aspirator tip. The check valve opens in the direction of air and fluid flow. Once the suction is stopped or blocked, the check valve closes and stops air and fluid from returning to the saliva ejector or the patient. If the patients close their lips, the vacuum line is blocked and fluids cannot backflow into the mouth, providing predictable protection from vacuum line cross-contamination. The tips are inexpensive and disposable, are similar in size to conventional suction tips, and can be bent to any shape.
For more information, call (651) 735-3935 or visit the company Web site at

Blue View VariStrip
Garrison Dental Solutions

The clear matrix band has been a significant part of anterior restoratives since the earliest days of composite dentistry. It has been an excellent translucent shaping tool that allowed cure-through polymerization as well as a source of considerable frustration as its flatness and one-size-fits-all dimensions required considerable high- and low-speed polishing definition after the restoration was in place. The revolutionary Blue View VariStrip from Garrison Dental Solutions solves many of these clinical problems. It is a precontoured anterior matrix which has been manufactured with an optimal curvature to facilitate composite placement with maximal adaptation to the rounded margins of the preparation. The Blue View VariStrip re-sists deformation during placement. Since there is less stress on the matrix after it is positioned, it is more readily wedged and re-tained throughout the entire restorative procedure. The rounded shape of the matrix is designed to replicate the proximal contour of the natural tooth, making this part of restorative process much easier and more predictable for the dentist. The ultrathin (0.0020-in) polyester matrix material guarantees a tight interproximal contact. The anatomically shaped strip is tapered incisogingivally from one end to the other; the strip is positioned interproximally and then slid through the contact until the appropriate tooth height exactly matching the individual tooth is reached. This prevents the excessive inadvertent incisal buildup of restorative material that necessitates increased chairside placement and polishing times. The blue tint of the VariStrip matrix offers the practitioner a clearly visible contrast between the tooth structures, the polyester, and the restorative materials. More importantly, it does not reduce the transmission of polymerizing wavelengths and does not compromise the depth or speed of cure.
For more information, call (888) 437-0032 or visit the company Web site at

Dr. Freedman is a founder and past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a co-founder of the Canadian Academy for Esthetic Dentistry, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry. He is a visiting professor at the Universita di Firenze, Florence, Italy. He is the materials editor for Dentistry Today. He is the author or co-author of 11 textbooks, more than 600 dental articles, and numerous webinars and CDs, and is a team member of REALITY. He lectures internationally on dental aesthetics, adhesion, desensitization, composites, impression materials, and porcelain veneers. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Freedman maintains a private practice limited to aesthetic dentistry in Toronto. He can be reached at (905) 513-9191 or