The EtchMaster is a miniaturized, efficiently packaged, and disposable air abrasion device.
The EtchMaster from Groman Inc is a disposable, single-use air abrasion tip that uses 'house air' available in the practice. Each EtchMaster tip is prefilled with a hard, mild, or soft abrasive powder.
The BE (bond enhancer) is a hard abrasive for restorative, preventive sealants, and cosmetic bonding procedures that require localized surface etching. The SP (surface polisher) mild abrasive is indicated for use in preventive sealant and cosmetic stain removal procedures that require localized surface polishing and cleaning. The PB (prophy brush) soft abrasive is indicated for localized stain removal and pit and fissure brushing.
Ease of Use and Set Up
According to instructions provided with the EtchMaster kit, connection, use, and removal/disposal of the air abrasion unit are completed in 5 steps:
- Check tip color code mark to identify abrasive grade (red is hard, blue is mild, and green is soft).
- Hold the tube end of the abrasive tip with one hand and the handheld connector with the other. Firmly insert the tube end into the plastic connector collet.
- Pull the nozzle forward until it stops to unseal the abrasive material.
- Direct the nozzle at the target surface and apply the air flow.
- To remove the air abrasion tip from the connector, pull back on the plastic collet and then pull the device away from the connector.
When the 6 dentists who participated in this evaluation were asked to rate the EtchMaster on ease of use and set up, 4 rated it as excellent and 2 rated it as very good. One evaluator said that the 'instructions were very easy to follow.' Another evaluator said the device was 'very easy to set up. Not a bulky unit to have on a cart and take up room in the office.'
Groman Inc describes the EtchMaster tip as supporting a 360° rotatable fine nozzle and a spherical mixing chamber. The unit delivers a gentle stream of tiny abrasive particles that etch without pain in a short amount of time.
The evaluators were asked to rate the abrasiveness of the overspray that occurs when using EtchMaster (ie, is any overspray less abrasive than with other air abrasion units). Three evaluators rated the device as excellent to very good, 2 evaluators rated it as good, and 1 rated it as fair. One evaluator said that he found that some overspray 'gets into my handpiece.' Another evaluator said the spray 'seems to work well where you want it to.' A third evaluator said the overspray 'was very contained.'
According to the manufacturer, the EtchMaster is indicated for polishing, roughening, and etching tooth surfaces, enamel, dentin, and dental restorations for adhesive restorative procedures.
When the evaluators were asked to rate EtchMaster on its effectiveness for etching tooth surfaces and metal prosthetics, 4 evaluators rated it as excellent and 2 evaluators rated it as very good to good. One of the evaluators, who had only 1 type of abrasive to use, said that it 'did a good job.' Another dentist who participated in the evaluation noted that only time will tell on the strength of the bond he achieved but that EtchMaster 'appeared to etch well.' A third evaluator noted that he would have liked there to be more abrasive powder in the tip.
Removal and Disposal
The EtchMaster is a disposable, singleuse device. It should be discarded after use or once the abrasive powder is depleted. At the end of a procedure, the air abrasion tip is removed from the connector by pulling back on the plastic collet and then pulling the device away from the connector. When the evaluators were asked to rate the ease of removal and disposal of the EtchMaster, 5 of the evaluators rated it as excellent and 1 rated it as very good. One evaluator described removal and disposal of the tip as 'the best part. Assistants are more likely to use [the EtchMaster] because it doesn't take any time.'
At the end of the evaluation the dentists were asked if they would recommend EtchMaster to their dental colleagues. Two said they would definitely recommend it and 4 said probably.
When asked if they would purchase the device in the future, 5 evaluators said probably and 1 said probably not. When asked to give their overall satisfaction rating for the EtchMaster, 5 evaluators rated it as very good and 1 rated it as good. The one word used most frequently by the evaluators to describe the EtchMaster was 'easy.'