by Dr Mark Foster, Castlegate Dental, Woodvale, WA
This small metal insert totally protects the adjacent tooth from any damage during cavity preparation. I mainly treat children and MO and DO restorations are my bread and butter.
What’s good about it
Interguard comes in two sizes—one for primary teeth and one for secondary teeth. When preparing a cavity, it can be quite easy to damage the tooth next door by either not watching what you’re doing, or if the patient is restless or when there’s difficult access. If there’s a crown on the adjacent tooth, it can be easily scuffed from the diamond bur.
An Interguard between the teeth allows you to drill up against it without any collateral damage. It also means that you can prepare the cavity much faster.
Interguards are designed to be autoclavable but I throw them out after each patient. They are cheap enough to be a single-use item.
I’ve been using Interguard for about 10 years and think they’re great. Among my colleagues at the hospital, I believe I’m the only one who uses them but when we teach the registrars, they say, ‘Wow, they’re good, aren’t they?’
What’s not so good
The size is right, it’s easy to place, easy to take out—if they were free, it would be perfect.