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Summary of Dental Products

Dental products are specially fabricated materials, designed for use in dentistry. There are many different types of dental products, and their characteristics vary according to their intended purpose.

Temporary dressings A temporary dressing is a dental filling which is not intended to last in the long term. They are interim materials which may have therapeutic properties. A common use of temporary dressing occurs if root canal therapy is carried out over more than one appointment. In between each visit, the pulp canal system must be protected from contamination from the oral cavity, and a temporary filling is placed in the access cavity. Examples include:

  1. Zinc oxide Eugenol - bactericidal, cheap and easy to remove. Eugenol is derived from oil of cloves, and has an obtundant effect on the tooth and decreases toothache. It is suitable temporary material providing there are no biting forces on it. It is also contraindicated if the final restorative material is composite because Eugenol adversely effects the bond/polymerization process,[1] also, when applied directly on the pulp tissue, it can produce chronic inflammation and result in pulp necrosis.[2] Examples brands: Kalzinol, Sedanol.

Impression materials
Dental impressions are negative imprints of teeth and oral soft tissues from which a positive representation can be cast. They are used in prosthodontics (to make dentures), orthodontics, restorative dentistry, dental implantology and oral and maxillofacial surgery.
  1. Rigidity- Inelastic (rigid) impression materials are used with patients with shallow undercuts.
  2. Elasticity- Elastic impression materials are used in patients with deep undercuts as it must be flexible enough to reach the end-point of the undercut.

These two properties are essential because patients have varying soft-tissue undercuts (shallow or deep undercuts). In order to obtain an accurate impression, a suitable property of impression material must be used. Impression materials are designed to be liquid or semi-solid when first mixed, then set hard in a few minutes, leaving imprints of oral structures.

Lining materials
Dental lining materials are used during restorations of large cavities, and are placed between the remaining tooth structure and the restoration material. The purpose of this is to protect the dentinal tubules and the sensitive pulp, forming a barrier-like structure. After drilling the caries out of the tooth, the dentist applies a thin layer (approximately 1/2mm) to the base of the tooth, followed by light curing. Another layer might be applied if the cavity is very large and deep.

There are many functions to dental lining materials, some of which are listed below :-
  1. Lining materials protect the weak tooth from post-operative hypersensitivity, reducing patient discomfort and allowing the tooth to heal at a faster rate after the procedure.
  2. Some dental restorative materials such as acrylic monomers in resin-based materials and phosphoric acid in silicate materials may pose toxic and irritable effects to the pulp. Lining materials protect the tooth from the aforementioned irritants.
  3. Lining materials serve as an insulating layer to the tooth pulp from sudden changes in temperature when the patient takes hot or cold food, protecting it from potential pain resulting from thermal conductivity.
  4. Additionally, lining materials are electrically insulating, preventing corrosion by galvanic cell in the event where two dissimilar metals (e.g.: gold or amalgam) are placed next to each other.