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  • Fluoride varnish

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    Tube of fluoride varnishFluoride varnish is a highly concentrated form of fluoride which is applied to the tooth's surface, by a dentist, dental hygienist or other health care professional, as a type of topical fluoride therapy. It is not a permanent varnish but due to its adherent nature it is able to stay in contact with the tooth surface for several hours. It may be applied to the enamel, dentine or cementum of the tooth and can be used to help prevent decay, remineralise the tooth surface and to treat dentine hypersensitivity. There are more than 30 fluoride-containing varnish products on the market today, and they have varying compositions and delivery systems. These compositional differences lead to widely variable pharmacokinetics, the effects of which remain largely untested clinically. Fluoride varnishes are relatively new in the United States, but they have been widely used in western Europe, Canada, South Africa and the Scandinavian countries since the 1980s as a dental caries prevention therapy. They are recognised by the Food and Drug Administration for use as desensitising agents, but, currently, not as an anti-decay agent.

  • Luting agent

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    Dental Cosmos shows a box of bottles containing dental cement which was used to lute dental crowns, bridges and inlays. It was produced by the L.D. Caulk Company in the early 1900s. A luting agent is an application of a dental cement. Luting agents connect an underlying tooth structure to a fixed prosthesis, hence giving rise to the term, luting agent, as they lute, or glue, two different structures together. There are two major purposes of luting agents in Dentistry – to secure a cast restoration in fixed prosthodontics (e.g. for use of retaining of an inlay, crowns, or bridges), and to keep orthodontic bands and appliances in situ. In a complex restoration procedure, the selection of a luting agent is a critical stage, as it plays a key role in the long-term success of a restoration. Besides working as a retentive aid to prevent the fixed prosthesis from dislodging, it also plays the role of a seal, preventing bacteria from penetrating the tooth-restoration interface. The oldest material available is the zinc phosphate cement, which has been used in dentistry for more than 100 years. Following the introduction of adhesive resin systems to the market, there is now a wide range of dental materials available that can serve as luting agents. As such, they each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and can each be employed in different scenarios. The choice of luting agent is also dependent on clinical factors, which includes the patient’s occlusion, design of tooth preparation, if adequate moisture control is achievable, type of core material, type of supporting tooth structure, tooth location etc. Much research has been carried out on the properties of each luting agent but at present, there is no single luting agent available which is ideal for use in all scenarios.

  • Dental curing light

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    Light curing of a dental filling material A dental curing light is a piece of dental equipment that is used for polymerization of light cure resin based composites. It can be used on several different dental materials that are curable by light. The light used falls under the visible blue light spectrum. This light is delivered over a range of wavelengths and varies for each type of device. There are four basic types of dental curing light sources: tungsten halogen, light-emitting diodes (LED), plasma arcs, and lasers. The two most common are halogen and LEDs.

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