Tools of the trade: Precontour Dixieland Matrices


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contoured matrices

by Dr Davina Shaio, Oris Dental, Minyama, QLD

I use these matrices with almost all fillings that involve a marginal ridge. They tighten really well and create a nice contact that’s not too tight.

What’s good about it

Conventional straight tofflemire bands create a straight surface that doesn’t mimic the natural shape of the teeth. You often get a small contact point between teeth that can lead to food trapping. The slight bulge of the contoured band creates a much more natural shape and allows a wider contact area. When we used amalgam, it would need to be packed tightly but modern composites don’t require any force. They just take the shape of whatever type of system you’re using.

The end result is a natural contour that represents the shape of the tooth. Sectional matrices are also great for achieving natural curvatures but I often find the contact too tight, and more polishing is needed afterwards. If you were building up a core for a crown prep, it’s easier to keep the contact open. In that situation, you would use the straight tofflemire.

The type of band you use is a personal choice and I know some dentists who swear by the sectional matrix. For me, I get a better result with these contour bands. The tofflemire contoured band has become my go-to band.

What’s not so good

They don’t come with the subgingival extension and that can be a bit annoying when you’re dealing with a very deep, shaped margin. I also find the tofflemire system can be a little difficult to get out of the holder. Once the band is tightened around the tooth, it sometimes seems to get stuck. I just use a set of mosquito forceps to lift it out.

Where did you get it


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