Restorative Notes on Bonding to Sclerotic Dentin and Removing All-Ceramic Crowns

February 7, 2024 Lee Ann Brady

Restorative Notes on Bonding to Sclerotic Dentin and Removing All-Ceramic Crowns 

By Lee Ann Brady, DMD 

Bonding to Sclerotic Dentin 

Bonding to sclerotic dentin is difficult, if not close to impossible. If the lion’s share of the tooth’s surface is sclerotic, you may not have the longevity that you’re hoping for. I’m specifically thinking of some lower anterior restorative cases I’ve seen over the years, where the veneers just haven’t held up and we’ve had to go to full coverage. 

I don’t trust some of the self-etching adhesives to result in a strong bond on sclerotic dentin, even the newer ones in the eighth generation. Fortunately, one thing we don’t need to worry about is sensitivity because the dental tubules are closed. Since I’m not worried about sensitivity, I can apply the same techniques I would with enamel with the intent of improving the probability of a strong bond. I can do a light prep, get rid of the sclerotic surface, and etch it with phosphoric acid for 25 or 30 seconds. Alternatively, I can use 30- to 50-micron aluminum oxide in an abrasion unit.  

Removing All-Ceramic Crowns 

Removing dental crowns can be a delicate and time-consuming procedure. In a world of so many different materials, it’s helpful to have an idea of which bur to use and how long removing the crown could take. One of the biggest challenges is determining whether a crown is a lithium disilicate or zirconia restoration. The radiograph and visual inspection will give us clues but afterwards, we must go through a process to understand what may be involved. 

Our First Clue: Zirconia looks like metal on a radiograph, and lithium disilicate looks radiolucent like natural tooth structure.   

Our Second Clue: If the crown is partial coverage, it’s much more likely to be bonded and I plan to prep down the entire restoration.  

Lithium disilicate restorations are often easier to cut through or section but they could be bonded and impossible to remove in pieces. Even if we can cut four pieces, we may have extensive prepping to do.  

On the other hand, zirconia can be harder to cut through, especially the 3y or 4y variety. But at least once you get to the cement layer, you can normally break it into pieces and remove them instead of having to extensively prep the entire tooth.  

If the restoration is full coverage, I can easily remove it in sections. In this case, I attempt to make my cuts all the way from buccal to lingual across the occlusal surface without bothering to stop. At this stage, I can pick up a crown remover and apply some general pressure to crack it off. If the crown is not budging at all, I assume it is bonded to the tooth, and the next thing I do is pick up a big flat-top diamond to do my occlusal reduction as if I were prepping a natural tooth. Once all the occlusal is off the glass, the pieces on the buccal, lingual, and interproximal fall off. 

 

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Utilizing Chair-side Air Abrasion

January 13, 2019 Lee Ann Brady DMD

Chair-side air abrasion has numerous advantages, especially today when we use adhesive retention so much of the time.

The advantages for many years have been outweighed by the logistic challenges. With the advent of small, lightweight, easy to use air abrasion handpieces this is no longer true. When I became aware of the etchmaster I was skeptical, but I am now a believer and use air abrasion int he operatory all day long.

The Clinical Applications

One of the first things that many of us will utilize air abrasion for is to “etch” zirconia restorations for bonding during final seating. The only way to prepare the inside of a zirconia restoration is with 30-50 micron aluminum oxide. The particle size and type is critical. The ideal pressure is 1 bar (15psi). Next on my list is to clean tooth preparations prior to bonding and cementation. To me there is no better way to assure the removal of temporary cement and prepare a tooth for maximal adhesive retention than with 30 micron aluminum oxide.

My list goes on as I have started to prepare small class one cavity preparations using small glass beads in my chair-side unit. Cleaning out the occlusal grooves prior to a sealant and etching un-prepped enamel for anterior esthetic composite margins are other uses. In addition sodium bicarbonate can be used to remove stain. Now that I have a convenient, easy to use unit, I find more and more reasons everyday.

Air Abrasion Made Easy

When I first began to experiment with air abrasion the biggest challenge was the equipment and managing the logistics.  The Etchmaster is a small 3 to 4 inch attachment that connects to either a 3 or 4 hole line on your unit. The pressure is precisely controlled, for great clinical outcomes, and it means the patients mouth is not full of powder when you are done. The powders come in pre-filled tips that slide into the top of the hand-piece. You can choose from a variety of sizes and particle types and sizes. This means no more filling a reservoir with powder, wondering if you have too little or too much. It also means not wondering what particle type and size is in the reservoir the next time you go to use the unit.

Have you explored the clinical advantages of air abrasion? How has this been beneficial in your practice?

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Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded leeannbrady.com and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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Four Great Reasons For Prep Scrubs

May 30, 2018 Lee Ann Brady DMD

One of the most common questions I get is about the use of a category of materials we refer to as prep scrubs, prep wetting agents or desensitizers.  The question is usually do they actually make a difference, and are they worth the cost. The answer is “yes” and “yes”.

There are 4 things we are trying to accomplish: prevent sensitivity, antimicrobial activity, moisten dentin for bonding, reduce bond degradation over time. The prevention of sensitivity is caused in two ways. The first is the inclusion of HEMA in products like Gluma from Kulzer. The HEMA occludes the dentinal tubules and prevents fluid movement that triggers a pulpal response. The second is the anti-microbial activity of either glutaraldehyde (GLUMA) or chlorhexidine (Consepsis by Ultradent). Fewer bacteria left behind int he dentin means lower chances of a pulpitis that causes sensitivity or the ultimate need for a root canal.

Both chlorhexidine and glutaraldehyde also minimize the production of MMP’s (Matrix Metal Proteinases) the biologic process responsible for bond degradation. This means our bonded restorations last longer before we see marginal breakdown, leakage and secondary caries. The last function is to moisten the dentin to allow optimal penetration of the primer in our dentin adhesives. This means better hybrid zone development and better bonds and sealing of dentinal tubules.

So the answer to do they have benefit is a resounding yes. I have used Gluma on every tooth I have prepared for many years. I consider it extremely cost effective as I am not sure how to put a price on greater restorative longevity and less patient dissatisfaction due to sensitivity or post operative issues. The true cost should be about $2 a prepared tooth if dispensed properly, so that’s hard to argue with.

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Lee Ann Brady DMD

Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded leeannbrady.com and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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Chlorhexidine Varnish & Tissue Management

May 23, 2018 Lee Ann Brady DMD

One of the challenges we face today in dentistry is managing tissue health during the time period our patients are in provisonal restorations. This has become even more critical as we have incorporated more resin bonding techniques to seat indirect restorations. Isolation is critical to the long term success and can be challenging after multiple weeks in a bisacryl provisional.

We all stress oral hygiene to our patients during this time period, but let’s be honest there are barriers to optimal tissue health at the seat appointment. One barrier is often patients are fearful that their hygiene procedures will displace the provisional. This fear has them brush less vigorously, floss less or not at all, and even sometimes avoid that part of their mouths completely. Even when patients are undeterred int heir hygiene the provisional itself is often a barrier. Contacts can be less then optimal and increase interproximal food impaction. The Bisacryl itself, tends to hold and attract plaque due to a different surface texture even when finely polished.

Given the barriers and the goal of super healthy tissue, Chlorhexidine varnish (Cervitec Plus by Ivoclar) has become one of my favorite products. We are all familiar with the incredible anti-microbial effects of chlorhexidine, and also the reasons we dislike it. Cervitec does not have a bad taste, does not cause the typical brown staining, does not effect the patients taste buds, and they don’t have to remember to use it. Cervitec plus is a clear liquid applied with a micro-brush. At the end of any appointment where we have placed a provisional my assistants will coat the gingival margin with Cervitec as the last step before the patient leaves.

I have been using this as a critical step in my restorative procedures for over 5 years now, and I swear by it. I see almost perfect tissue health at seat appointments, and it is rare for me to struggle with isolation due to poor tissue management.

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Lee Ann Brady DMD

Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded leeannbrady.com and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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Top 5 Clinical and Career Tips of 2017 for Dentists

December 31, 2017 Pankey Gram

The end of 2017 is wrapping up a solid year of incredible dental blogs from our talented Pankey contributors. Our posts featured everything from techniques for occlusion and orthodontics to practice management and leadership.

There are tons of useful tips and plenty of information for dentists at every stage of their career on the Pankey Gram. Here, we’re compiling five pieces of sound advice from blogs in 2017 that are sure to get you excited for another year of practicing dentistry your way.

As Pankey dentists, we continue to strive for greater learning and growth in our professional and personal lives. Revitalize your hunger for education with these thought-provoking tips:

5 Clinical Tips From 2017 Pankey Blogs

1. Consider physiologic changes that occur over a lifetime when planning restorative dentistry.

In his blog on ‘Adult Growth of the Dental Arch,’ Dr. Roger Solow explored the slow craniofacial growth that can affect dentistry throughout a patient’s life.

2. Set splint therapy fees in such a way that you can actually make money off them.

In his blog, ‘How to Set Splint Therapy Fees,’ Dr. James Otten described how to individualize splint therapy fees and more accurately estimate therapeutic time.

3. Think like an orthodontist when advising patients on post-ortho care.

In her blog, ‘How Long Should Patients Wear Their Retainers Post-Ortho?’, Dr. Lee Ann Brady laid out important considerations for dealing with questions about retainers.

4. Recognize when patients are in denial and practice empathy toward them.

In her blog on communication, ‘From Denial to Acceptance and Action,’ Mary Osborne RDH enlightened with a description of patient denial in dentistry.

5. Improve you protocol for restorations by adding another dental assistant.

In his blog, ‘6-Handed Bonding,’ Dr. Mike Crete made his case for why an extra dental assistant can benefit dentists dealing with adhesive dentistry and tricky restorations.

And there you have it folks. Best wishes for 2018! 

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When Ceramic Debonds: Part 2

September 6, 2017 Lee Ann Brady DMD

Click Here for When Ceramic Debonds: Part 1

A Methodical Process for Examining the Frustrating Reasons Behind Why

One of the most disheartening and emotionally upsetting situations is when a ceramic restoration debonds. Our ability to act constructively in the moment is key to our future case success.

In Part 1 of this series, I explained why it’s important to acknowledge your frustration without letting it control you. I also outlined the beginning of a methodical thought process that will help you figure out why ceramic debonds.

The following steps assume you’ve already looked at the resin and determined if the ceramic was prepared, cleaned, or conditioned properly.

Completing Your Investigative Process When Ceramic Debonds

You have a different set of explanations for what happened if all of the resin cement is on the ceramic and the tooth is clean.

Clean the tooth thoroughly to remove all trace of the temporary cement. The issue may have occurred when the enamel and dentin were etched, regardless of whether you used a total etch or a self etch technique.

Next, ask yourself about the amount of enamel you have versus the amount of dentin. This involves taking a second look at the prep, because secondary dentin can be quite problematic when bonding.

Another area you may need to reconsider is your technique for dentin adhesive. Did you accurately follow the steps? Could poor isolation have led to a contaminated tooth during the process?

Lastly, sometimes there is some resin on the tooth and some on the ceramic. In this case when resin is in both places, you can benefit from rethinking the occlusal forces on the tooth and the functional design. Your patient may have higher functional risk or you might have lacked complete precision while adjusting the final occlusion. A good clue that you’ll find resin on the tooth and the ceramic is if it fails under load.

You can better target your problem solving and decrease the risk of the same technical issue recurring in the future by identifying where the resin is located. Follow the thought process in this series and you’re well on your way to smoother cases.

How do you respond when ceramic debonds? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Lee Ann Brady DMD

Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded leeannbrady.com and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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When Ceramic Debonds: Part 1

September 5, 2017 Lee Ann Brady DMD

Methodical Process for Examining the Frustrating Causes

Dentistry is not solely a clinical, emotionless skillset that uses techniques to achieve outcomes. It’s also emotional, fraught with the normal human frustrations of mistakes and complications. One of the situations where I see this most frequently is when a ceramic restoration debonds.

Acknowledging and Embracing Our Emotions When Ceramic Debonds

On an average day at the dental practice, we experience the full range of human emotions: happiness, curiosity, boredom, excitement, frustration, etc. But sometimes, this is interrupted by a situation that becomes far more dramatic.

Ceramic that debonds creates a highly disconcerting scenario. It makes us feel powerless and consequently we find it difficult to resolve the issue with the full spectrum of our scientific learning.

Before we can return to ourselves and work toward a resolution, we have to acknowledge that it’s okay to be human! You cannot outrun trouble and messiness. When ceramic debonds, you’re upset and the patient is upset. The confluence of these factors leads to the struggle of regaining control over your brain’s analytic functions.

Having a plan for these types of situations, a methodical set of steps to take and questions to answer amidst the blinders of upset can help you carry out the task at hand.

Questions to Ask During a Methodical Ceramic Process

There are two initial queries in our method for sleuthing out the cause when ceramic debonds. First, we ask why the ceramic restoration came off and how we can minimize or eliminate the possibility of it occurring again.

We must also then ask: Where is the resin cement?

The process for discovering this involves examining the tooth and the internal surfaces of the ceramic through the lenses of our dental loupes. Attempting to visualize the resin is ineffective compared to scratching the surface using an explorer.

If we’ve completed this test, finding that all of the resin is attached to the tooth and a clean ceramic interface, we proceed to the next step. We must consider the process of bonding to the ceramic and whether or not the ceramic was adequately prepared.

Dental ceramics can have many different preparation requirements depending on the type. They can have different etching times, distinctive percentages of hydrofluoric acid, or can require preparation with air abrasion. Oil secreted from hands, in addition to blood, saliva, die stone, or try in paste, could have contaminated the ceramic. If it wasn’t cleaned properly, the result was marred. One step where problems are more likely is when ceramic is conditioned with silane or Monobond Plus…

You can learn about other causes in the upcoming second installment of Dr. Brady’s ‘Why Ceramic Debonds’ series. How do you feel when you face this problem? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

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Lee Ann Brady DMD

Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded leeannbrady.com and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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6-Handed Bonding

August 22, 2017 Mike Crete DDS

How an Extra Dental Assistant Can Improve Your Protocol for Restorations

Restorations and adhesive dentistry have rapidly advanced over the past few decades. Changes in materials necessitate corresponding changes in protocol. Read on to learn the adjustment that drastically improved Dr. Mike Crete’s bonding process.

30 Years of Significant Advances in Clinical Dentistry

I have been practicing for a little over 30 years and often find myself looking back amazed at how many advances have occurred in clinical dentistry. Dental school requirements were focused on metal restorations that were either: (1) condensed into place (amalgam and gold foil) with “retention form” the key to success, or (2) cemented with the likes of zinc phosphate. Ah, the good ‘ol days of mixing on a cool glass slab!

My favorite general advancement over the years has been the concept of adhesive dentistry.  Not a day goes by in my practice where I don’t either bond a direct composite, bond a crown or two, or place an entire arch of bonded porcelain veneers.

Why 4-Handed Dentistry Fell Short for My Restorations

I must admit when I first started placing bonded restorations I was gun shy and felt like I would never be as adept as I was at carving amalgams or burnishing exquisite gold margins. I fumbled through bonded porcelain and composite like it was the same as metal restorations. I had mastered working with one chairside assistant. I could almost do dentistry blindfolded and 4-handed dentistry made me look great.

After about 3 years of really not liking treatment that involved bonding and finding myself justifying in my head how amalgam and gold were better, I finally had an aha moment when a mentor told me, ”You can’t do something new the old way.” I was a bit puzzled and asked, ”Why not?” My colleague then introduced me to the concept of 6-handed bonding.

6-Handed Dentistry Makes For a Better Bonding Protocol

Every time I do either a single unit or multiple indirect bonded restorations, I utilize both a chairside assistant and a “tray-side” or tertiary dental assistant. The tertiary assistant has the 5th and 6th hands.

The tertiary assistant helps by efficiently preparing the restorations for bonding (cleaning, silane, etch, prime, bond, resin adhesive, etc.) while the chairside assistant helps me keep the teeth isolated, etch the teeth, and place the restorations with precision and a very high level of accuracy. The chairside assistant can be totally focused on me and the patient, while the tertiary assistant prepares and hands me the indirect restorations.

Consider modifying your protocol to include a 3rd pair of hands and make 6-handed bonding part of your daily routine.

What is the most significant change in clinical dentistry you’ve noticed over the years? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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Mike Crete DDS

Dr. Mike Crete lives and practices in Grand Rapids, MI. He graduated from the University of Michigan dental school over 30 years ago. He has always been an avid learner and dedicated to advanced continuing education., After completing the entire curriculum at The Pankey Institute, Mike returned to join the visiting faculty. Mike is an active member of the Pankey Board of Directors, teaches in essentials one and runs two local Pankey Learning Groups in Grand Rapids.

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