by Dr Jacqueline Amparo, Gordon, NSW
There are times when overhangs and ledges cannot be avoided when using composites. Even after positioning a well-placed matrix system, there can be a minute overhang that frays the floss. After taking out the bulk of excess composite resin, I use the Esthetic carving knife to refine the margin in order to make it flush with the contour of the tooth.
What’s good about it
In some instances, it can be difficult to access an overhang with rotary instrumentation when it’s below the gum line of proximal or facial surfaces. Where access is difficult in the back of the mouth, and smoothing down with the drill could gouge the filling or tooth structure, this carving knife just fits nicely in proximal and facial surfaces. After use, the surface is smooth, tissue damage is minimal and patients are able to floss without any difficulty.
It comes in two types: an anterior and posterior carver. The blade size is ideal and keeps its sharpness. This knife needs to be used with a bit of control, in the same way as one would use a hand scaler or currette when removing calculus. This carver gives such a good tactile feel of the ledge, you only need to carve slowly at the composite resin overhang.
What’s not so good
I have had a couple of these instruments break but only after years of use and possibly from being dropped. The breakage can occur at the blade or the shank. The dentist needs to refrain from applying excessive force. This instrument should be used with caution, care and a little finesse.
Where did you get it
Henry Schein Halas.
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