Friday, December 30, 2011

Episode 237/500: Complete Maxillary Denture and Mandibular Anteriors

Here is a neat hint that I was taught a few months ago from a lecturing prosthodontist.

As dentists, we are taught from day one to conserve teeth.  Therefore, when prepping a patient to receive a complete maxillary denture (opposing mandibular natural dentition), we rarely think of leveling the "playing field", ie, the mandibular dentition, to aid in developing a successful prosthetic outcome.

Here is a great tip to think about removing a small amount of enamel from those pesky mandibular anterior teeth when planning for a Complete Maxillary Denture opposing the mandibular natural dentition.



Monday, December 26, 2011

Episode 236/500: Suturing

 In the Army, we are lucky to have a number of clinical short courses - 2 weeks of hands on dentistry by the respective specialist.  I have attended our endodontic and oral surgery short courses a number of years ago.

Here is a simple trick that an oral surgeon friend of mine taught me years ago whilst I was on the oral surgery course.  It makes suturing just a little easier.

Another method is to learn how to tie a surgeon's knot by hand and eliminate your needle holders all together for completing the throws/knot.



Friday, December 23, 2011

Episode 235/500: Bridge Cementation and Dental Floss

A resident colleague mentioned this great, simple, hint at lunch time the other day.  He had a friend that showed him to use floss during cementation of an FDP.  I was probably shown to do this during dental school....


Monday, December 19, 2011

Episode 234/500: Periosteal Release and Bone Graft - on Pork Ribs?

I thought that a resident colleague mentioned that when he was on a periodontal clinical course, they practiced periosteal releases on porcine ribs.  It so happens that when I was talking w/ Dave this evg (he and his adolescent children came over), he only practiced crown lengthening on porcine jaws and stabident on porcine ribs......where did I get this releasing incision idea from?  I have no's done.


I was watching another method of periosteal release (in the OR) and figured I'd revisit the release - with a porcine rib.  I also tried using a bovine (cow) rib, however, the periosteum is about 1.5 mm thick - similar to a leather belt. The porcine rib better mimics human periosteum which is several cells to 0.375mm thick (see article below).
The periosteal release technique appears to be a well protected secret. I have no idea why it is a secret, but, it is rarely described by any author (other than the article referenced below), and yet, it is one of the many critical steps to successful ridge augmentation. Tension free flaps during augmentation procedures allow primary closure of the wound and prevention of flap dehiscence. Additionally, it is usually is performed before wound closure - meaning - that the clinician is tired by this point, and often, visual access is impaired (especially inferior to the anterior nasal spine).
The amount of release required dictates the type of release/periosteal scoring that you need. However, in my humble experience, you can never have enough easily moveable mucosa, ready to be sutured over your augmentation (or cashew in this case).
This was a one shot video, and there are a few errors that I'd like to point out - the largest being that I mean coronally positioned flap vs apically (around the 1-2min mark). A great article to review regarding tension free flaps is:

Flap advancement: practical techniques to attain tension-free primary closure (

I hope this helps,


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Episode 233/500: Surgical Blade Handles and Adson Forceps

Here is a simple instrumentation post regarding scalpel blade handles and Adson forceps.  I have been fortunate to use variations of different instruments.  Different scalpel blade handles, for some reason, seem to make a little difference in placing precise incisions.  The classic #3 handle works well - universal.  For something that permits a little more precision (and uses the same blades), try the #7 handle - you can get it on Amazon of all places!

Adson Forceps - for manipulating tissues without crushing them.  From my cookbook days in dental school, there wasn't a significant amount of time dedicated to surgical armamentarium.  I can understand why...more on that later.  Adson forceps are critical if you're manipulating oral tissues during surgical procedures.  Often, there isn't an Adson forcep placed in the surgical kit, and it's too easy to reach/ask for a hemostat or regular pickups.  Use the proper pickups - it prevents crushing the tissue and decreasing the healing potential of the wound.



Episode 232/500: Holland & the Simple Rubber Dam


I recently received a request for a close up video on the Simple Rubber Dam technique from a dental hygiene student from Holland.  Here is a photo of his technique w/ the hands free suctioning.

Pretty cool.

If you folks have other tricks/hints that have helped you clinically, please send them, or post them online and start a community.

Thanks Milad.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Episode 231/500: Dental Iliac Bone Graft

Patient CW successfully underwent maxillary and mandibular ridge augmentations today - with the autogenous bone being harvested from her Right hip (Anterior Iliac Crest).  I shot video and photos, and then participated in the surgery by fixating the third onlay block to her left mandible.
She is currently resting overnight and will be discharged tomorrow.  The surgeries went very well with no complications.  The next stage is healing for approximately 4 months, followed by implant placement, and then, restoration.  Total time is approximately 2 years.

Here is the patient preoperatively w/ Paradigm MZ100 CAD/CAM crowns placed on teeth #2,5,12,15 (FDI: #17,14,24,27)....{I'm really starting to forget the FDI system of numbering after using the Universal system for 1.5 years}

The photos and video stopped around the completion of the augmentation to her right maxillary ridge, as I was invited to complete the mandibular left augmentation procedure.  No one else appeared interested in capturing pictures/video. :(

I will be posting video of the surgery soon.

For now:



Donor Site Preparation (Right Anterior Hip)

Donor Site Osteotomies

Harvesting Cancellous Bone

Cortical Bone Graft


Final Closure

Right Sinus Entry.  This is the best photo I have :(

Elevation of Sinus Membrane

Packing Cancellous Bone into the Sinus (Sinus Augmentation) 
Measuring Block Graft Requirements for Maxillary Right
(The patient had 3 locations grafted)

Preparing the Onlay

Onlay is trimmed and fixated w/ cancellous bone grafted around
PRP placed 
First Sutures Placed

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Episode 230/500: Endodontics or Implants?

Here is an abstract for an endodontic seminar that we are having tomorrow - minus me.  I've been given the green light to go to the Operating Room and assist w/ an anterior iliac crest bone graft to this patient's maxillary and mandibular arches. Here is my article abstract that my resident colleague has promised he won't discuss on my behalf.....I have a few choice words, but I"ll keep them to myself!

Often the question arises:  Why not just extract the offending tooth that requires endodontic therapy and just place an implant - easy cheesy right? (Dr. H's favorite saying).  There are many articles discussing the success rates of both endodontic therapy and implant therapy - however - it is fairly difficult to quantitatively compare the two treatment modalities.  Enter this recent article:  Quality of Life of Endodontically Treated versus Implant Treated Patients: A University-based Qualitative Research Study.

This article describes a study that involves a number of patient's who underwent either endodontic therapy or implant therapy, and subsequently talked about a number of issues (in groups) concerning their treatment.  I have summarized a few of the key discussion points that I was intending to discuss w/ friends around a fire (projector) tomorrow morning.  Saved by the OR.

Having placed and restored a number of implants - and completed many orthograde and several surgical endodontic treatments - I'll opt for the root canal over implant...anyday.

Please enjoy. Let me know your thoughts.


Radica/Ribbond Provisional FDP - Removed today for OR surgery tomorrow. 
BisAcryl Provisional FDP - removed as well for the Ridge Augmentation Surgery tomorrow.

Note the Allen Class C (vertical and horizontal) ridge defect requiring
significant augmentation prior to implant therapy. 

Both Maxillary 4 unit FDPs were sectioned and replaced w/ provisional FDPs.
The provisional FDPs have been replaced w/ single crowns on the abutments.

"Provisional" MZ100 CAD/CAM crowns luted on abutments. 

If the patient is satisfied w/ esthetics and function, these crowns will act
as provisionals for up to 12 months:
4 months healing post ridge augmentation
4 months post implant placement
2 months restorative procedures

Episode 229/500: Blackhawk UH-60 Simulator

Not a lot of dental tricks happening in this post - however - thanks to Dr. WPG, he arranged for the residents to take a ride in the full motion Blackhawk UH-60 simulator.  It was a great experience!  We all had a turn flying VFR for approximately 15 mins with full motion - which makes it fairly realistic.  #No rep, Dr. W and I were together for the first flight of the afternoon, after our oral board examinations.  We all received red screens of death during our flights - and walked away.

Here are a couple of a videos online showing the full motion simulator.
The first one is about the sim. It is much more exciting than my video of low and fast and a couple of poor attempts at landing.

Thanks WPG.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Episode 228/500: Milled Titanium Bar - Implant Supported Denture

I just received a 3i milled titanium overdenture maxillary bar.  Here are the preliminary photos.  Similar to the "All on 4" methodology of restoring the edentulous patient - we'll call this situation an "all on 3".

Brief patient overview:

  1. 50 YOF
  2. Born w/ cleft palate - Le Fort 1 and mandibular set back ~15 years ago
  3. Received 6 x Branemark implants in the late '90s - Maxillary arch
  4. Heavy smoker
  5. Out of 6 original maxillary implants, she has 3 useable (4 remaining).  
  6. Unable to tolerate a conventional denture
  7. Currently has locator abutments on maxillary and mandibular implants.  
I was pretty excited when the bar fit.  Complex cases (as I'm learning) are, at times, a struggle between patience, patients, and attention to detail......damned that 3rd point.

Points up to here:
  1. Should have used a verification jig to verify impression/cast to reality prior to having the bar milled.  The bar fit when it returned from the lab - however - I wasn't 100% sure that it would.
  2. Currently trying to determine the maximum "cantilever" length possible distal to #6
Next Stage:
  1. Waxup w/ denture teeth (maxillary and mandibular) and wax tryin
  2. CR record confirmation (confirm intraoral to articulator)
  3. Purchase correct clinical screws
  4. Flask
I'm excited!

Thanks Dr. K

Occlusal View - 6 original implants


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Episode 227/500: SOAP Notes

I never really understood how to use SOAP notes practically.  Yes - it's fairly straightforward, but how does one use this in a dental chart?  What am I looking for during the exam?

Well, one day, as I was getting my chops busted as a junior resident, I was guided by one of our OMS mentors (Dr. Kris Hart) as to one of many methodologies of how to collect, analyse and present patient data.

I uploaded the example (PDF), and a blank word and pages document for your review - at - your leisure of course.  I trust that you will be able to download them from slideshare - if not - comment and I'll change the file sharing site.



Here are some formats that I placed on

Episode 227/500: AEGD-2 Residency - Board Exams

What a great time of the year for all students.  Exams.  Including us as residents.  As I"m sure with all residencies, the point of board exams (oral and written) is ensure that the residents are learning a some sort of rate - and - now, mentors can sit back and pass on the pain of sitting in the hot seat - to someone else.

I subscribe to #dentalschoolproblems on twitter and always amused by the really artful and creative tweets from some dental students.  Of course,  we all remember well the days of too many exams over too little period of time.

Some recent tweets:

3 exams down 6 more to go.... Done on Wednesday. I ask is 9 exams legal in less than a week?? #dentalschoolproblems#livinginthelibrary
~50% of our class failed our last final. Not joking. Worst test ever written#dentalschoolproblems
nothing like starting the week out exhausted. from studying. not partying. obvi.#dentalschoolproblems

In this residency, we have oral boards and 2 written boards.  During the oral boards, we all wander around the building, spending 20 minutes in each mentor's office, getting grilled on material covered in the past 6 months..perhaps.

There is also the classic written board which is 200 questions - either hand fabricated or old board exams from other speciality residencies.

Finally - there is the write for life.  A 4 hour treatment planning session where you have to essentially take a case and develop a comprehensive treatment plan and rationales in 4 hours.....I'm still questioning the utility of this exercise in treatment planning.  It is, however, a long exercise that consists of continual writing for the 4 hours.

If you've tracked to this point- here is where I say, "I am sorry for the few posts, I"ve been studying and preparing lectures that have since been delivered as of yesterday"


Episode 226/500: Denture Custom Tray Fabrication

This was a great hint from Dr. Lundell (He is the the say ahh guy - impressive ability to resist gagging) and Dr. K.  They had a patient present with a broken maxillary denture and were planning on fabricating a new set of complete dentures for the patients. The patient was a gagger and barely could tolerate alginate impressions - although - he did have set of dentures.  Perhaps the fracturing of the denture was due to thinning of the palate to make the denture more palatable?

Intaglio:  Inside surface of crown/denture, etc
Cameo: Surface of prosthesis facing the oral cavity.

The idea is to fabricate an edentulous custom tray directly on an impression of the intaglio (inside) surface of the dentures.  Rather than make preliminary alginate impressions and preliminary casts (upon which custom trays are fabricated), the custom trays fabricated directly on the impression.

1.  Impression of the intaglio (inside) surfaces of the denture w/ alginate
2.  Place a few bent paperclips into the alginate to hold it in place
3.  Pour a "cow patty" base in stone and set the alginate impression onto the stone.
4.  Salt/pepper custom tray resin over the alginate to fabricate a custom tray.

You could substitute alginate w/ any other impression material.

Thanks to Dr. Lundell and Dr. K.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Episode 226/500: Excruciating Tooth Ache - Friday at 4pm

The conundrum - to help a fellow human with Symptomatic Irreversible Pulpitis - to relieve their pain and throw on the superhero cape.  However - let's add to this scenario.  It's 4pm on a Friday and you have to be with your family by 5:30 to leave for a vacation.  Yikes.  Now what?

You know deep down that this can of worms may develop into a wrestling match that may end at 7pm and neither party is happy following the exchange.  No - this isn't tag team dentistry.

Well - here is one of many tips that I've learned from Dr. Kenneth Hargreaves.  A kind, funny, humble man who has a deep passion for pain........

Success of an alternative for interim management of irreversible pulpitis
Mcdougal et al. JADA, December 1, 2004 vol. 135 no. 12 1707-1712

Emergency pulpotomy: pain relieving effect with and without the use of sedative dressings
Hasselgren G, Reit C; J Endod 1989;15:254-6; 

It turns out that a few studies have shown that rather then completing a pulpectomy for a tooth diagnosed with "vital" Symptomatic Irreversible Pulpitis, there is another option - a pulpotomy.  Remove the pulp - stay out of the orifices, place a restoration and reappoint to continue the endodontic therapy.  I had no idea.

Thank you Dr. Hargreaves,



Monday, December 5, 2011

Episode 225/500: Local Anesthetic Reversal - Oraverse

Ever liked going to the dentist - me neither.  What's worse, is that numb feeling that seems to go on for hours.  Well - maybe not so much anymore.  I learned of this product called Oraverse, which is touted to decrease the length of action on soft tissue by local anesthetics.

Soft tissue?  What are you talking about?

Lips, cheeks - things that matter when you have to eat lunch w/ others, or present at a meeting after a dental appointment.

So.....since our clinic box of Oraverse is about to expire, I figured I'd give it a shot and have a resident colleague provide a local infiltration (tooth #6 - FDI #13) w/ 1/2 carpule of 2% lidocaine 1:100k epi and then infiltrate w/ 1/2 carp of Oraverse 15 mins later.....and time it.

Truly, I should have had the left side anesthetized as well - for control.

Here are my results from my little case study.

PS.  It doesn't have an intoxicating effect - even though the video thumbnail makes me look like I'm buzzed.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Episode 224/500: CEREC - LAVA Ulitmate

I've been working with E4D and CEREC (3 and AC) for approximately 1 year.  We have an incredible opportunity to push the envelope and use CAD/CAM for whatever situation we see fit.  Here are a few things that I've learned when designing an onlay for tooth #12 - (FDI #24).  The material I'm going to be using is a composite block from 3M called Lava Ultimate.  It's based on Filtek Supreme (silica/zirconia fillers).  I will have some intraoral video soon of this crown and onlay.

Here is a question that we've been throwing around:

1.  Why does this material have to be silanated before cementation?  It's composite, non?  Don't we silanate porcelain crowns?

2.  Because these Lava Ultimate blocks have to be silanated (resin) - shouldn't regular composite be silanated when repairing them?  Note - repairing - not initial placement.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Episode 223/500: Reverse Crown Preparation

I was attending some local continuing education and picked up quite a few hints that I will share over the next few weeks.  The presenter was a staff prosthodontist who works at a VA laboratory.  He shared a few things that aren't game changers, however, are significant enough that will make a difference in a few of the things that I do.

Here is a video that he showed which was coined the reverse crown preparation. Most of us had never heard of this technique.  I"m not sure how applicable it is to your practice, however, I figured I'd share it.



Episode 222/500: Add Wax to Denture Base w/ Saran Wrap?

Problem: I need to add wax to maxillary wax rim before try in.  I"m not setting maxillary teeth before the esthetic tryin......b/c I know I"ll end up moving them!

Solution:  Saran Wrap.

This technique can be used to add vertical wax height even if you don't have teeth set.  This way, you won't wax-glue your rims together.



...and......just a reminder video about wax rims.