Team Corner

September 8, 2015

New Kid on the Block

Every year as students graduate from assisting programs and finish their internships, they are ready to seek employment.  Although the schools go over the basic skills necessary in the dental field, there are a few areas where practice makes perfect.  These tasks are important to employers and new (and established) assistants should learn how to do them well.  Here are a few items that can help assistants become more proficient in certain areas.

Chairside “Suctioning”

One of the first things assistants need to know how to do well is retraction and suctioning.  The HVE tip, Multi-Axis Spiral Suction (Ghost Mfg.) is ideal to use.  There are many features that can really help a new assistant navigate their way around:

team corner hve* It has a spiral vented design – it’s quieter.

* Functions as a HVE and a saliva ejector, patients can close on it and it does not grab the tongue, cheek or soft tissue.

* The angle barreled wall has better ergonomics allowing a greater field of view while retracting.

* Rounded edge to prevent tissue trauma.

Taking Radiographs

team corner cikrayAssistants should be able to take an x-ray with ease and accuracy.  Using the right holder can help you achieve accurate angles and eliminate cone cuts.

Suggestions: ClikRay™ Digital Senor Holder – (ClikTech, LLC) 

The dual head design allows the flexibility to take Anterior, Posterior, and Bitewing views with just one device.  The ring helps align the x-ray cone.  A simple rotation can take all views.



Taking Alginate Impressions       

This is something assistants will do almost daily.  A color change alginate is ideal because the change of color lets you know what steps to take.

The 1st color – mixing

The 2nd color – load tray/place in the mouth

The 3rd color – material is set


Cavex ColorChange (Cavex Holland BV)

team corner cavex

2015 Preferred Product from The Dental Advisor


 Making a Provisional

One of the most important jobs of an assistant is making a temporary crown.  The use of a matrix, a good provisional material and an easy to clean temporary cement are very beneficial when learning to fabricate a provisional crown.  Making a temporary in this type of matrix can produce an exact duplicate  of the pre-existing tooth, which will require minimal trimming and adjustments.  The dentist depends on the assistant to know how to make these well, including adjusting the occlusion (in the lab) and cementing the temporary. These materials perform well and can make the task easier.


Matrix impressions:

  • Alginate
  • Alginate substitute
  • Bite Registration

 Provisional Material:  3M ESPE Protemp Plus (3M ESPE)

team corner protemp

2013 Product Award Winner – The Dental Advisor


 Temporary Cement:  

  • RelyX Temp NE (3M ESPE)
  • TempBond NE (Kerr Dental)