Tools of the trade: Shimstock metal foil


shimstock3by Dr Ian Harvey, Ian Harvey Dental, Maryborough, QLD

Virtually every restoration needs to have the bite checked to ensure it’s not high. Traditionally, markers were used but Shimstock is easier and much more accurate.

Whats good about it

Whenever I’m doing crowns or multiple restorations, I always check with Shimstock to ensure the restoration is the correct height. It’s such a handy product; I insist that it’s on every restorative tray.

First I take a bite before the crown is fitted and establish a contact forward or back of the restoration. If the patient can bite on the eight micron foil, there must be contact in that area. Once the crown is fitted, I check with the foil again. If it slips through their bite then the crown needs adjustment. If the patient can bite on the foil then the crown is perfect within an eight micron limit.

It’s the same when doing fillings. Markers can smudge and are subject to operator variance. Sometimes it can appear that the markers are fine but there can still be an area that’s high. When checking patients’ bites, the foil will slip through everywhere except where they have contacts—and the foil doesn’t lie. It’s like a sizing gauge.

Shimstock comes in a five-metre roll so it lasts for ages. It’s a really quick and simple way of ensuring that any restoration is not high and the patient will not have any problems or discomfort. It’s a very elegant and simple system.

Whats not so good

Sometimes, when patients bite on the foil, it will tear. Shimstock is also a little bit more expensive than some other similar products.

Where did you get it

Henry Schein Halas.


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