First Impressions: December 2011

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.


Sterilization is a must in every dental practice. It protects patients, staff, and practitioners from transmitted diseases and cross infection. Every nondisposable dental tool must be thoroughly disinfected in between patients. Is your sterilizer functioning as effectively as it should? Unfortunately, most sterilizers do not have a built-in monitoring system that can routinely verify their ongoing safe operation. Sterilizers can break down and sometimes they do malfunction; it is essential that the dental team be made immediately aware of any problem so that it can be rectified and the equipment can be again at its peak performance. SciCan's Ensure is a 10-well, in-office infection control monitoring system for steam sterilizers that provides reliable results in 24 hours. Biological indicators are sterilized and incubated for cost-effective and accurate test results, and the dedicated logbook routinely documents all findings. The Ensure System includes an integrated vial crusher and a unique incubator that allows the practice to monitor up to 5 sterilizers concurrently with a built-in timer for up to 5 different programs. No timing errors can occur. The Ensure Chemical Indicators are fast, reliable, and economical solutions for load monitoring. Both Class 4 and Class 6 indicators are available to meet the most stringent regulatory requirements. The Ensure Biological Indicators are self-contained and reliable indicators for fast results in as little as 24 hours. These indicators are the most cost-effective method to ensure effective sterilizer performance. The Ensure Bowie Dick Test for steam penetration is specifically targeted to steam vacuum assisted autoclaves in order to verify adequate steam penetration for confirmed sterilization procedures.
For more information, call (800) 572-1211 or visit the company Web site at

Estelite Omega
Tokuyama Dental America

Practitioners use composites for a wide array of restorative procedures. They also have a broad scope of products from which to choose. The criteria that dentists apply include ease of placement in the cavity, speed and confidence of polymerization, facility of shade selection, shade-matching success, and the ease of polishing. Tokuyama Dental America has introduced Estelite Omega, a comprehensive restorative system that is dedicated to simplifying the layering technique with just 11 shades. This system utilizes Tokuyama's proprietary Estelite Sigma Quick chameleon blending technology to provide a novel layering approach to developing highly aesthetic restorations with fewer shades. The handling and polishing of Omega and Sigma Quick are essentially the same, the differences evident only in the packaging and shade availability of the 2 systems. The 82% by weight (78% by volume) fill ratio provides excellent mechanical strength and a highly wear-resistant restoration that is gentle on opposing dentition. The submicron inorganic filler particles are 100% spherical, making the restoration very readily polishable. The depth of cure is a standard 2 mm, with darker shades requiring somewhat longer. Omega is Tokuyama's universal composite designed specifically for layering. It is offered in 2 kits, a Deluxe Kit and a Basic Kit, both including an instructional DVD of live patients and a CD offering a step-by-step technique for the most popular case types. Omega is simple to use, and the detailed instructions guide the practitioner, allowing the material to be utilized to its full potential. The material is available in 4-g syringes and 0.25-g compules. Estelite Omega's exceptional shade structure optimizes value, chroma, and transparency and proffers a natural high opalescence to develop remarkable aesthetics.
For more information, call (877) 378-3548 or visit the company Web site at

PrepStart H2O
Danville Materials

Microabrasion has been available to dentists since the 1930s. It is essentially a finely controlled and specifically limited sandblasting of selected tooth (hard-tissue) surfaces. However, the technique was totally incompatible with amalgam dentistry. Microabrasion experienced a major revival with the rise of adhesive procedures in the 1990s. The advantages of microabrasion are many: it is very conservative of tooth structure; it is easy to learn and apply to many routine dental procedures; it can typically be used without the need for local anesthetic; and it leaves an excellent roughened surface that is ideal for bonding. It is indicated for medically compromised patients who cannot tolerate anesthetic components, patients who are fearful of injections, and children. The major disadvantage of microabrasion was the dust that was created both intra- and extraorally. Inside the mouth, the majority of dust was removed by the high volume suction; the remaining powder was irritating to some patients. Outside the oral cavity, microabrasion dust caked the face and often the clothing of the patient. Danville Materials has solved much of the problem with their innovative PrepStart H2O. The device mixes a cone of water mist with the air-abrasive stream to capture almost all of the errant dust. The cutting power is unaffected, quickly abrading the target tissues. No water connection is necessary; the water supply is self-contained. The warm water decreases patient sensitivity and its rate of flow can easily be adjusted. The water mist starts and stops instantly with air/abrasive flow. The PrepStart H2O is available as a complete new system or as an add-on accessory, a 15-minute procedure requiring only a screwdriver. PrepStart H2O offers maximum patient comfort, minimal dust, and fewer injections.
For more information, call (800) 827-7940 or visit the company Web site at

Directa AB

The process of developing an interproximal contact for a direct restoration has traditionally been a 3-component, 3-step procedure. The matrix generally defines the interproximal position, shape, and the contour of the filling material, while the wedge separates the adjacent teeth slightly during the insertion of the restoration, sealing the gingival margins, and an interdental ring maintains the separation through the restorative procedure. This slight expansion of the interdental space is necessary to compensate for the physical thickness of the matrix material, and to ensure a physiologically tight interproximal contact. Directa AB has introduced the FenderMate, an innovative one-piece wedge-matrix (and no ring) combination that inserts like a wedge and functions as a matrix. The wedge component presses the adjacent teeth apart to ensure a tight contact and the flexible wing component separates the teeth to provide a seamless cervical margin, eliminating the possibility of a cervical overhang of restorative material. The FenderMate is available in 2 sizes, regular and narrow, color-coded for each of the left and right sides of the arch. The convex wing shape of the matrix creates a natural emergence profile and has a pre-shaped contact area that makes contact forming predictable. The FenderMate does not require a ring to further separate the adjacent teeth; it is inserted interproximally as a single-unit wedge-matrix system with an optimal curvature in less than 5 seconds. When restoring an MOD cavity, simply insert corresponding left and right FenderMates at the distal and mesial, and the tooth is ready for the composite filling material. The packaging box is organized for ready identification and easy dispensing access.
For more information, call (800) 284-3368 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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .