Dental Tips, Hints, and Helps

For right now, these DENTAL TIPS will be placed on this page in a chronological order in which they were received until a few more are obtained.  Once a substantial number have been submitted, they will then be organized by topic so they can be sought out in an organized manner.



From Ken Allen, Fort Collins, CO

Using iPads to show x-rays; library for team members; and drop box for specialists

1.  For new patients we take four initial photographs (full face, close-up smile, maxillary occlusal, and mandibular occlusal).  We use an iPad with the SD card reader to immediately show the photos to the patients.  They can move from picture to picture and zoom in and out as they look at the photos and tell us what jumps out at them.  This helps us to better understand their desires.

2. We have an office library of books and videos that are available to the team members.  They can check out the books or videos to increase their knowledge.  We keep leadership, management, team building, clinical, practice management, and personal development books and videos in the library.

3. We have established “Drop box” shared folders with the specialists that we interact with.  Whenever one of us needs to transfer a digital file (document, radiograph, photo, etc.) we just copy it to the shared drop box folder and it magically appears for the other office.




Submitted by Evan Roundy, President of the Academy

Desensitizing crowns or exposed dentin.  


I used to have problems after crown preparations with the tooth being sensitive.  I have found that placing gluma (or equilavent) on the tooth just before I cement the temporary has greatly reduced this problem.  In addition if a restoration  is close to the pulp or has been sensitive in the past, that if I use gluma on the dentin it will virtually eliminate the sensitivity.  I have not found that it interferes with the bonding agent that I use (SE bond).  If a tooth is sensitive after a crown prep now it means that the pulp was compromised and is not due to dentin exposure.


a.  Clean any blood or coagulum from the astringent off the tooth.  If you leave the coagulum on the tooth it will make the tooth very sensitive.

b.  Dry the tooth but do not desiccate it.

c.  Dip an applicator in the gluma and rub it on the tooth, making sure to cover all of the dentin.  Apply it for about one minute.  Be careful not to let it pool on the gingiva, as it will burn the gums.

d.  Take the applicator and blot off any excess gluma, but don’t air dry it with the air/water syringe.  I usually take the applicator, run it over the surface of the tooth and blot it dry on the patient napkin, repeating this until all of the excess is gone.  I leave the dentin shiny .

e.  Cement the temporary with a good cement.  Make sure to remove any residual cement expressed out of the temporary so that it doesn’t irritate to gingiva.




Submitted by Wayne Chisholm, Service Coordinator

Efficiency Tips


  • When doing two or three anterior root canals in one arch, isolate teeth to be endodontically treated with a rubber dam and secure the rubber dam with wedges instead of trying to use clamps.
  • Maximize the use of assistants allowing them to place rubber dams, retraction cord, and bands.
  • Six-handed dentistry.
  • Have assistants construct temporary crowns.
  • Have the hygienist(s) give injections.
  • Allow and train staff to do everything that is legal for them to do in the state in which the dentist resides.