by Dr Cameron Arnold, Smile Dental, Townsville, QLD
This is a great tool for extracting difficult roots, particularly in the anterior of the mouth.
What’s good about it
If a root breaks off during an extraction and it is impossible to reach with forceps, the Benex will get you out of trouble. It’s a great alternative to surgically removing the root.
A small lug is screwed into the root, a cable is attached to the lug and the other end of the cable is attached to the Benex. The tool is supported by the teeth on either side of the root on which you are working. Once everything is attached, a small handle is rotated to increase pressure and within 30 seconds, the root comes straight out.
The Benex works particularly well if you are extracting a root in order to immediately place an implant. In that situation, all the bone is preserved. I had a case recently where a mechanic was hit in the face by a spanner. It broke off his front tooth, leaving the root a centimetre down into the bone. I turned straight to the Benex and popped it out.
Any dentist who’s regularly putting in implants should really have one of these tools. It can get you out of a heap of trouble. Whenever I explain to a patient how the Benex will easily remove the root without any trauma, they are generally quite impressed. It’s a remarkable little tool.
What’s not so good
It’s not applicable if the root is vertically fractured and like most things in dentistry, there’s a reasonably steep learning curve. It’s also quite expensive but if you’re doing a lot of implant work then it’s a fantastic tool to own.
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