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Products Worth Their Weight In Gold


There’s no question that dental assistants play a vital role in the dental practice. They also play a vital role in the selection of products used in the practice. 

There’s no question that dental assistants play a vital role in the dental practice. They also play a vital role in the selection of products used in the practice. 

According to a recent survey by the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA), 61 percent of its members shop and buy the products for the practice. Of the 39 percent who don’t do the buying, 50 percent told the ADAA that it’s another dental assistant in the office who does it. The other 50 percent say it’s the dentist making the purchases, but with half of these practices they recommend supplies to the dentist.

Related reading: What would your practice do with $10,000?

We know the value of the dental assistant … and that’s one of the reasons why we created our monthly Modern Dental Assistant e-newsletter, designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s dental assistant. If you know of a dental assistant who doesn’t receive this free monthly e-newsletter, check out http://bit.ly/IWantMDA for a free subscription.

Trending article: One year later: A look at six revolutionary products

For this article, we asked members of the Modern Dental Assistant editorial advisory board for their thoughts on some of today’s dental products they have found to be great to use. We wanted them to tell their fellow dental assistants which products they like … and which ones they should check out for their practices. Here’s what they said…


Here are three products I love…

by Kerr

SonicFill is this amazing handpiece delivery system for posterior bulk composites. The ultrasonic handpiece delivers the composite as a flowable, allowing it to flow into the prep smoothly and decreasing the opportunity for voids. In seconds, it begins to set up so it’s completely condensable! You have the best of both worlds in one system. Manipulation is easy, and it can cure up to 5 mm in depth, making it perfect for bulk-filling needs. I love it because, as an EFDA, I don’t always have the luxury of an assistant. I can use this with ease!

Related reading: How to make faster, easier posterior restoration with Kerr Dental's SonicFill

by Isolite Systems

Hands down, this is an assistant’s best friend! Whether working with a doctor or in expanded functions, this allows you to multitask (as we often do) while chairside. Once you have the visibility the light gives you, you are hooked! The patients love the comfort of the mouthpiece, and the constant suction gives them confidence. There are so many great things about this product … retraction, visibility, suction and comfort for the patient. We all love it. 


Chairside CAD/CAM

Chairside CAD/CAM has come a long way and, as its popularity grows, it gives dental assistants an opportunity to let our talents shine. From scanning to designing to milling and stain and glaze, we can give our patients a one-day fixed prosthesis that has amazing esthetics and a precise fit. Whatever CAD/CAM system your practice uses, dental assistants can grow their practice and value by learning this amazing technology. It’s not when … it’s now! 

Related reading: CAD/CAM: Having it all ... your way



Here are two of my current favorite dental products:

by Heraeus Kulzer

Why do I like it? It has the same proven efficacy as GLUMA®. GLUMA® Desensitizer PowerGel is a one-step gel formula desensitizer that allows for greater control and accuracy during application. 

In addition, its unique green-color indicator provides visual ease of placement and rinse-clean capability.

• No agitation or light curing required, making it easy to use and saving time

• Can be used with all bonding and restorative materials in any situation

• Provides greater control and accuracy during placement

• No-drip formula so it stays where you place it, minimizing contact with soft tissues

• Green color indicator allows for easy visual placement and rinse-clean capability

I absolutely love this stuff!

Related reading: Under every restoration: Heraeus Kulzer's Gluma Densensitizer 


Why do I like it? It has proven adhesion to dentin and long-term fluoride release.

One of the supreme advantages of the glass-ionomer cement is its ability to establish a true, permanent bond to hydroxyapatite even under the moist conditions of cavities close to the gingival margin. ChemFil Superior is at the forefront of glass-ionomer technology and links outstanding adhesion to superior handling characteristics and pleasing esthetics. It combines a smooth and non-sticky consistency for easy application with a high powder loading for extra mechanical strength. 

ChemFil Superior offers both sufficient working time and the most rapid set possible. Some of the other things I like include:

• No acid etching, no extra bonding agent, minimum cavity preparation and a perfect seal

• Bonds to tooth substance even under moist conditions of the mouth

• Natural-looking esthetic restorations

• Consistency unchanged during placement period with sharp final set

• Extended durability of the restoration

• Uptake of fluoride in surrounding hydroxyapatite with continuous fluoride ion exchange

• Extra pulp protection only required in very deep cavities

• Proven reliability 

Trending article: Hygienists weigh in: The most helpful hygiene products



Angela Severance, RDA, CDD

These are products I use that are a must for making CAD/CAM dentistry more efficient.

by Zirc

Lingua-Fix is a disposable lingual retraction device that fits onto the saliva ejector and suctions simultaneously. This device is extremely cost-effective - less than $1 per application - and makes intraoral scanning a breeze! When scanning intraorally, unless the patient is extra juicy, I simply use it as a retraction device only (not placing it on the saliva ejector). Simply place it in the lingual vestibule, tighten the chin clip, then move the tongue out of the way. This device takes up little space and is pliable, moving freely out of the way while capturing lingual data with the digital impression scanning tip. Lingua-Fix is easy to use and comfortable for patients.

Trending article: 7 cool dental hygiene products you should know about

mr. thirsty® by Zirc

mr. thirsty is a disposable device that retracts the cheek and tongue, suctions and serves as a bite block … all in one product! This device comes in two sizes and can be trimmed to customize to each individual patient’s needs. I find mr. thirsty to be a very affordable and convenient retraction system in relation to its competitor. This device works great for those patients with extremely strong tongues and heavy salivation. It’s perfect for the site that needs to be kept 100-percent dry, like sealants, composites and bonding in general. mr. thirsty can be a little bulky for intraoral scanning devices, taking up the lingual space needed to get the digital impression scanning tip into place, but it is nonetheless a helpful tool. The other great thing about it is that it fits right onto the high-speed evacuation tip … no extra hosing or attachments needed, and it’s disposable! mr. thirsty enables the doctor to get started on the next restorative patient while the assistant finishes up with another. That helps keep us on schedule!

by Premier Dental Products

Traxodent is my go-to retraction paste and hemostatic agent. Placed individually or along with a retraction cord if deep subgingival retraction is needed, this paste delivers consistent results needed to aid in margin capture for polyvinyl impressions but especially for digital impressions. Using Traxodent in correlation with a compression cap will achieve the best tissue retraction results and is recommended by the manufacturer, Premier Dental. Storage is simple and clean-up is easy, keeping the tissue displaced and hemostasis under control. Compression caps come with the system and in different sizes to fit the appropriate tooth-molar, bicuspid or anterior. 

Related reading: How to use Premier Dental's Traxodent to achieve impressions with clear, defined margins

DiaShine by VH Technologies

I would not leave home without this extraoral (fine) diamond impregnated polishing paste. The luster this paste brings leucite-reinforced glass and lithium disilicate is unmatched by competitors. DiaShine also has diamond impregnated polishing pastes for composite, Lava Ultimate (3M ESPE’s nano-ceramic) and intraoral polishing pastes for any adjustments made in the mouth. This paste is delivered rock-hard and heats up, sticking to the Robinson wheel brush when spun in the tub. Heavy pressure and slow speed using a lab handpiece or straight nose cone will deliver the best results.

This polishing paste is much nicer than many competitors that have a prophy paste-like consistency which usually ends up flying onto the patient or into our hair when applied to the Robinson wheel bristle brush. DiaShine also lasts a very long time and is a wonderful company to work with. It sells tubs individually or has kits prepared with different diamond grits and polishing/buffing wheels according to the material needs/indications.


Angela Smith

Identic alginate by DUX Dental

Identic alginate is one of my favorite dental materials. This might sound silly, but I love the packaging! The canister is easy to hold and has a place to snap in the water measure (you can’t lose it!). The alginate itself is truly dust-free. After fluffing it, you don’t have to wait for the powder to settle to unscrew the lid for fear you will get a face full of alginate dust. Mixing the product is easy, and, once complete, the result is a smooth and creamy consistency. The added cinnamon flavor is not overpowering but evident. My patients have said it doesn’t have that “chalky” aftertaste some other alginates leave behind.

Trending article: The best dental products for your bucks

by DMG America

This is by far my favorite provisional material. Luxatemp is a consistent product that I find provides a superior provisional. There’s not a lot of shrinkage making temps. It’s very easy to remove and eliminates the need to repair margins. The finished provisional also polishes extremely well and looks as close to natural as possible for provisional coverage.   


Trending article: Whiter and brighter: The exciting evolution of cosmetic dentistry


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