A Fast and Easy-to-Use Retraction Paste

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 07/30/2012
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A Fast and Easy-to-Use Retraction Paste

Most of us are familiar with the drawbacks of retraction cord: It can be time-consuming to place, technique sensitive, and highly uncomfortable for patients. Data also has shown that it can cause injury to the gingival sulcular epithelium, and if placed improperly—which isn't uncommon—can contribute to gingival recession and marginal exposures on restorations.

For these reasons, and others, many of us have turned to retraction paste. However, this procedure has its own drawbacks. As a longtime user of a popular retraction paste, I have seen firsthand that some of these materials can be difficult to express and require additional tools like their own dispensing guns. I also have seen thick retraction material clog in the dispensing gun. The thick consistency can make it difficult to rinse, and it sometimes seems that it settles along the margin of the preparation, rather than into the sulcus where it is most needed.

Design Genius

Recently, however, 3M  introduced a new retraction paste product, the 3M Retraction Capsule, that takes a quantum leap beyond other retraction pastes. The retraction capsule's genius lies in its design. These single-use capsules fit into most composite dispensers, and they are designed with an extrafine tip that can be inserted directly into the sulcus to inject the material exactly where it is needed. The 15% aluminum chloride retraction paste is left on for 2 minutes and then rinsed. Dentists can achieve ideal sulcular placement, even on hard-to-reach areas like second molars. In the short time I?ve had the product, I have used it on nearly every tooth in the mouth and have not had any problems with access. It also works with any kind of impression modality, giving it great versatility.

Unlike other retraction pastes, the paste from the retraction capsule rinses away easily. Because the tip of the capsule is so small, I initially was skeptical about how it would express and wondered if it would clog. However, the paste is textured finely enough to flow smoothly, without needing the same pressure for application many of us are used to with other retraction pastes.

Time Is of the Essence

One of the greatest advantages of this product is the time-savings it offers. When compared with cords, the retraction capsule can cut up to half the time from the retraction procedure. When compared with another retraction paste, the 3M  Retraction Capsule can help clinicians work up to 30% faster. It's also very simple to pick up the procedure. After initially using the retraction capsule on a single crown prep, I felt confident enough to use it the next day on a case with 8 veneer preps.

Convenience Discovered

This new retraction capsule provides valuable time-savings, improved patient comfort, and ease of use. For dentists who are seeking a more convenient alternative to retraction cord and other retraction pastes, I encourage them to try this product for themselves.