Even though there are a number of retraction gels on the market, I still prefer to use UltraPak retraction cord. The gels I’ve tried retract well and help control inflammation and bleeding. However, if the tissue is a bit fragile when you rinse away the gel, you risk provoking bleeding again.
What’s good about it
UltraPak gingival retraction cord does what it says—it retracts the gum away from the tooth while giving me really good control. Often the gum will be inflamed and bleeding or will have crevicular fluid. With so many of the materials we use being very sensitive to moisture, these will interfere with the bonding process. The cord is an effective way of controlling moisture contamination.
The cord comes in five different sizes. When I’m taking an impression for crown and bridge work, I double pack. I use a triple zero as the initial cord and number zero, one, or two as the secondary cord. This is pushed laterally rather than vertically. I remove the second cord—the thicker one—just before the impression is made. It leaves a space for the impression material to flow in readily.
It’s a simple and effective tool that I use any time I want isolation—crown and bridge work, porcelain veneers, composite veneers, subgingival restorations, buccal abrasion lesions. Any time I want that extra bit of control, the cord works extremely well.
What’s not so good
Retraction cord is more painful for the patient than the gel products. However, patients are anaesthetised for nearly every procedure we perform. If I’m worried about the patient feeling discomfort from the placement of the cord, I just use a little surface anaesthetic to numb the area.
Where did you get it
Henry Schein Halas.
By Dr David Osie, Dental Loving Care, Pymble, NSW.