Tools of the trade: Danville PrepStart


Danville prepstartby Dr Andrew Marriott-Smith, Pacific Smiles, Bairnsdale, VIC


We’ve had our PrepStart abrasion unit for about 13 years. Previously I had purchased an American air abrasion machine that was well marketed and cost a lot of money. Despite having all the bells and whistles, it wasn’t successful at all. I purchased the PrepStart a year later at a fraction of the price and it has been a great, reliable machine.


What’s good about it

I use the PrepStart for the careful removal of tooth structure. By adjusting the powder flow and the air pressure, it can also be used for removing stains.

I use it most frequently when fissure sealing a tooth. There are some very fine burs which are designed to clean out the fissure but they are slow and time consuming. However, I can just run air abrasion over the fissure and it follows the contours of the tooth. By removing the soft enamel before taking away the healthier enamel, only minimal preparation is required prior to applying the fissure seal material.

When repairing a large composite filling, I use air abrasion to roughen the surface to enhance the bond. It creates the mechanical retention that you’re looking for.


What’s not so good

Sand ends up all over the place and has the potential to mess up your suction. We had a Cattani suction motor for 14 years and the sand was never a problem. When we upgraded to a newer Cattani motor, it had a filter fitted to catch waste amalgam. The sand blocked up the filter and it was quite expensive to replace. Not all advances are good advances.


Where did you get it



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  1. New – Danville PrepStart H2O

    The problem of dust ending up everywhere has been eliminated by the addition of a cone of water mist surrounding the air/abrasive stream. This captures almost all of the dust!
    Cutting results continue to be optimal. Use of warm water further enhances patient comfort. Water mist starts & stops instantly with air/abrasive flow.
    The Prepstart H2O is available as a complete new system or as an add-on accessory. The H2O may be added on to an existing Prepstart in about 15 min with a screw driver. The H2O is attractively styled to look integrated with the Prepstart.
    No electric or water connections are used. Water is added to removable tank.
    PrepStart H2O products offer a maximum of patient comfort with reduced need for injections, another practice building feature


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