Tools of the trade: Expasyl

Expasyl, a fantastic substitute for retraction chord.
Expasyl, a fantastic substitute for retraction chord.

by Dr Nick Teo, Tindale Dental Surgery, Penrith, NSW

I’ve always found retraction cord pretty fiddly to use. It needs to be dipped in hemostatic material and jammed into the gums to create a nice clear margin. However, no sooner would I tuck in one side than the other side would pop out. It always seemed far more difficult than it needed to be. When I started working at Tindale Dental, they used Expasyl, a fantastic substitute for retraction cord.

What’s good about it

It comes in a small dispensing gun with a little metal tip. When doing a crown prep, the Expasyl is simply squirted around the gumline. It’s left for two minutes then washed away to create a perfectly clear margin. It’s not uncomfortable for the patient because you’re not tucking something into their gum.

Along with crown preps, it can be used for fillings in awkward places or when taking a scan for a Cerec. In fact, it’s handy for a number of different situations.

I speak to a lot of colleagues and have many friends who are dentists and they haven’t heard of it. I don’t know why. It’s a great product that works far better than retraction cord.

What’s not so good

The taste of Expasyl isn’t great so I put a piece of gauze over the tooth and the patient bites down on that. That way the tongue doesn’t keep touching it and the patient doesn’t have to sit there for two minutes tasting the stuff.

Where did you get it

Gunz Dental.


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