Tools of the trade Whiteboard marker


Hand with marker drawing isolatedby Dr Edward Boulton, Paul Beath Dental, Newcastle, NSW

I showed the other dentists in our practice how I use a whiteboard marker when fitting a crown and now they all use the technique. It works a treat. I can’t even remember where I picked up this little trick.

What’s good about it

If a crown is not seating properly and it feels a bit tight then I reach for a whiteboard marker. The black ink of the marker works really well when checking the interproximal contacts during the placement of a crown. In the past I used articulating paper but I found that quite fiddly. Now I just take the crown off the tooth, dry it and mark the mesial and distal contacts with a bit of whiteboard marker ink. I then dry it with a triplex and replace the crown. Wherever the contact is too tight, the ink will be worn off in that exact spot and I can adjust it using a polisher. The remainder of the ink can be easily wiped off and the crown fitted.

After use, the nurse wipes down the marker in the same way she wipes down the light handles. It never really gets contaminated as I use an over bag when picking up the marker.

It’s probably the cheapest dental product we use in our practice.

What’s not so good

On the rare occasion, a patient sees me using the marker and asks about it. I just explain that it works really well. No-one has ever shown the slightest bit of concern. Generally, though, they don’t even notice. I only use the tiniest amount of ink on the interproximal contact.

Where did you get it

Stationary shops and supermarkets.


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