Message in a Bottle Mailbag: Radiation exposure, matrix bands, 2015 movies
Each month, Editorial Director Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, answers reader-submitted questions to help you navigate your dental and hygiene product decisions (and more!). This month, he discusses radiation exposure and the Nomad Pro 2, recommends a matrix band, and offers his take on the movies of 2015.
The "Message in a Bottle Mailbag" is a monthly feature of the e-newsletter, Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator. Each month, Editorial Director Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, answers reader-submitted questions to help you navigate your dental and hygiene product decisions (and more!). This month, he discusses radiation exposure and the Nomad Pro 2, recommends a matrix band, and offers his take on the movies of 2015.
Dr. Sullivan from Worcester wrote: I wanted to ask you a question about your Nomad Pro 2. I want to get one to replace an old wall-hanging x-ray head, but I am worried about the safety. Do you provide your employees with radiation exposure badges?
Thanks for that great question, Sully. I am assuming that all of your Boston buddies call you Sully because I have seen The Town and Good Will Hunting. (That’s basically where my Boston knowledge comes from.) I will also assume that Worcester is another name for Southie because “Sully from Southie” sounds wicked awesome. When I first opened, I started with a Nomad Pro and had a couple of rounds of radiation monitoring badges for my assistant and hygienist. They always came back with nothing or next to nothing on them, so I stopped wasting money on them.
If you follow the instructions that come with the Nomad, which are pretty easy, it should be very safe. I have a hygienist who is pregnant right now, so she wears a lead apron to take radiographs, but that is understandable. If you are using digital (and again, following the instructions), there should be no problems. Your staff will probably love it so much more than the old wall-hanger you have now. Enjoy!
Peter from New Mexico asked: I know you have written a lot about segmental matrices in the past, but what do you do when you absolutely have to use a matrix band for whatever reason?
Good question, Pete. Yeah, segmental matrices are much preferred, but sometimes they just don’t work. When that happens, it’s matrix-band time. In those situations, I have a few different options around the office. I always keep the standard .002-inch matrix bands on hand, as well as the dead-soft .001-inch bands. The biggest issue with traditional matrix bands is the sharp, straight walls and embrasures they can (and usually do) give restorations. They need to be molded and shaped so a more anatomical fill can be achieved. Plus, without the ring present to push the adjacent tooth slightly to overcome the thickness of the band, it can be difficult to get a consistent interproximal contact. Again, shaping and molding the band can help you overcome this. When I’m using a band, I sometimes hold the contact tight with a burnisher while my assistant light cures. It can be a pain.
One product I like is the PinkBand. PinkBands are silicone-coated matrix bands that are available in thicknesses and sizes similar to those of traditional matrix bands. The silicone coating helps to seal out moisture, which is obviously beneficial for any bonding you might be doing. They are reasonably priced and can be found on pinkband.org.
Matt from Tampa asked: What was your favorite movie of 2015?
That’s a tough one, Matt. There were a lot of good ones, and I haven’t made it through all of the Oscar buzz movies yet. I don’t quite understand how The Revenant and The Hateful Eight count as 2015 movies because I certainly couldn’t see them in San Antonio until after the New Year, but I guess they do. Spotlight was great and was more about journalism than anything else, which I enjoyed. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was so fun, and the feeling in the theater was really amazing, but I have picked at some plot points in the weeks that have passed since I saw it. With all of that said, I am going to have to say that my favorite was Sicario—partly because I had few expectations going in and I was blown away. I am not sure if it will be Oscar-nominated or not, but it was amazing. I highly recommend it.
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January 2016 | Metal-ion crowns, PermaSeal and sensitivity, holiday parties
December 2015 | Autoclaving ContacEZ IPR Strips, Voco's Futurabond U, NBA season
November 2015 | Forgetting the post in post-and-core situations, bat flips and breaking rules in baseball
Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, is an editorial director for Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator, an e-newsletter from DentistryIQ.com and Dental Economics. He also writes the "Pearls for Your Practice" column in Dental Economics. After graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School, Dr. Austin associated for several years. During October of 2009, he opened a solo general practice in a suburban area of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Austin is involved in all levels of organized dentistry and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.