For Gary M. Radz, DDS, FACE, there is no question that VOCO Retraction Paste sparked a change at his practice in Denver, Colorado. A general dentist for 30 years, Dr Radz has extensive experience with other retraction techniques.
When Dr Radz first heard of VOCO Retraction Paste more than a year ago, he says he knew the product would be good based on his previous experience with the company. However, what he found was a product he called “the best I’ve ever tried in that category.”
“The tip design was ideal, and the viscosity of the paste was good and easy to control. Even the color I like better than some of the others,” Dr Radz says.
VOCO Retraction Paste is an aluminum chloride–containing astringent paste designed to widen and dry the gingival sulcus for successful digital or analog impressions. The paste is a unique blue color, which provides high contrast to the surrounding tooth structure and tissues.
“It did a good job of hemostasis. The retraction part is great, but the hemostasis part has to be there as well. And this product had both of those properties and did a good job,” Dr Radz says. “For the past year, I’ve just used VOCO because it’s superior to what the other companies have right now.”
VOCO’s paste is formulated for a 2-phase viscosity, which makes application very simple. First, the paste flows under low pressure for precise application. Secondly, after application, the material’s viscosity increases to remain stable in the sulcus, stopping bleeding and displacing moisture.
Other pastes Dr Radz has used are not as user-friendly as VOCO’s product, he says. Other products on the market offer either good hemostasis or good retraction but not both, he adds.
“The differences are subtle; it’s not dramatic,” Dr Radz explains. “But if you’re experienced enough with the other [products] and you’re trying a new one, you can see quickly that [VOCO’s] is as good or better than what else is out there.”
VOCO Retraction Paste
VOCO Retraction Paste is an astringent paste with aluminum chloride. It is designed to widen and dry the gingival sulcus, creating ideal conditions for successful impressions. The material is a bright turquoise color, providing high contrast to tooth structure and gingiva. It saves clinicians up to 50% of procedural time compared with other methods. Its 2-stage viscosity makes for simple application.
Compared with retraction cord, VOCO Retraction Paste is not only easier but 50% faster, according to information provided by VOCO America. The application time is reportedly only 1 to 2 minutes, and the material rinses off easily without staining. Retraction cord, on the other hand, can be more labor intensive, time intensive, and technique sensitive, Dr Radz adds.
He finds the material to be particularly helpful when taking digital impressions. One of the main purposes of digital impressions is to make a clinician’s workflow more efficient, he says.
“If I have a product where I can control hemorrhage and move the soft tissue out of the way a little, and I can do that in a very quick, efficient manner, that makes my workflow faster,” Dr Radz says. “So probably 75% of the time, when I’m scanning for an impression, we’re going to use the VOCO Retraction Paste beforehand so that we can visualize the crown [preparation] that much better.”
Another indication for which Dr Radz has found the material to be useful for cementing crowns or veneers after a patient has worn a temporary. This is a case where retraction cord might be contraindicated because it will cause more bleeding than it will stop, he says.
“Controlling that bleeding is important,” Dr Radz says. “[VOCO] Retraction Paste really comes in handy.”
In addition, adding VOCO Retraction Paste to his toolbox has benefited both his staff and patients. It has helped his team by improving patient behavior and allowing staff to be successful, Dr Radz says.
Plus, placing retraction cord can be very uncomfortable for patients and cause more postoperative sensitivity, Dr Radz says. “The patient may not realize it, but if you’re using retraction cord, the degree of postoperative discomfort is more than retraction paste because you’re taking a string and poking it all the way around the gums,” he explains. “Whereas retraction paste is atraumatic in nature… I know they’re going to be more comfortable after the procedure.”