Gerry Phipps, DMD, MS
Spokane, Wash

I have practiced orthodontics for 24 years and have always strived to provide my patients with excellent orthodontic outcomes. However, Spokane’s water supply is not fluoridated and, as a result, I have struggled with the incidence of decalcification and decay that occurs with my patients. When patients add a diet high in sugar and acid (soda, sports drinks, sweet and sour candy) and less than excellent oral hygiene, things can quickly get out of hand. Yet, since 2009, new decalcification has been virtually eliminated in my practice thanks to Opal Seal.

Opal Seal is a 38% filled primer that contains nano-fillers for optimal mechanical retention and glass ionomer particles for long-term strength and recharging of fluoride. In addition, it contains a drying agent as found in many bond enhancers.

We use Opal Seal as a primer for all bonding. We use a syringe with a brush tip to apply a thin layer over the entire facial surface—right to the gingival margin. No additional primer is needed. Opal Seal light cures translucent and can be used with any light-cured adhesive. And, since it glows under a black light, Opal Seal can be monitored and reapplied if needed.


Better Band Bonds

Robert J. Gange, DDS, MS
Windsor, Conn

As often as things change in orthodontics, one thing remains constant: Molars bear the most force from various appliances attached to them. Whether it is a headgear, a TPA, a Forsus, or any of the other appliances used to correct a skeletal discrepancy, the molar band sometimes requires a little extra in the way of retention. This can be accomplished in a couple of ways.

There are times when the secure fit of a molar band falls between two sizes. Etching of the inside of the band with a microetcher and 50- or 90-micron aluminum oxide can reduce the size of the band by a half size, thus allowing for a tighter fit.

If the band is properly sized, self-etching primers such as Reliance SEP can be used to increase band cementation strength. Self-etching primers offer the orthodontist a way to etch and bond brackets in one step. This same SEP, rubbed for 15 seconds around the periphery of a molar and then thoroughly air-dried, followed by a coat of Reliance Assure and then air-dried, greatly increases the adhesion, especially with composite band cements such as Reliance Ultra Band Lock.

Together, these two easy options can make a world of difference in increasing the strength of band cementation.