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Garrison FitStrip Interproximal Finishers - Review PDF Print E-mail
FitStrip Logo FINAL.jpgSuper Fine Double Sided 1 adjusted.jpg
Adding the post from last Thursday, here is something else from Garrison Dental.  In this case, however, rather than starting an evaluation, I’m glad to report on a completed eval of Garrison’s FitStrip system.
As the logo above states, the word “FIT” stands for “Flexible Interproximal Twistable”, which is a good description.  Let me explain why.
For interproximal finishing, most of us are used to having 2 size/shape choices:
  • Finishing strips:  These are long strips made of either plastic or thin metal and coated with different grits of abrasives.  Once they are placed interproximally, they are gently pulled side to side to smooth the restoration.  The biggest problem with these products is the placement.  The plastic strips tend to buckle or fold up as you try to slide them between the teeth.  Once in place they can occasionally be difficult to move.  The metal strips are stronger and hence easier to slide between the teeth, however they have a nasty problem of slicing the lips right at the commissure.  Leaving someone with the equivalent of a “paper cut” at the corner of the mouth is never a good thing.
  • C-shaped bands:  These are abrasive strips placed between the ends of a plastic “arch” with finger grips placed on the arch.  The idea is that the grips & arch allow for a small band and leverage to get them between the teeth.  The problem with these is that sometimes the shortness of the band (which is usually an advantage) does provide enough movement to get the band to slide between the teeth.  Also, because the strip is short, it can be difficult to get adequate smoothing as you can only move a few millimeters in either direction.

To correct the problems inherent in both of these systems, Garrison got smart and decided to approach the problem from 2 different ways.

Notice in the image above that the FitStrip has a handle.  This allows for really good leverage when placing the strip and/or when moving it back and forth.  The handle lets the operator gain a good mechanical advantage to place and move the strip while maintaining good control.  The leverage of the handle is similar to the leverage of a metal finishing strip, but without the potential for cutting the patient.  However, I know many of you are thinking “what about using this device on the molars?  The handle is going to make it difficult if not impossible to use.”  That’s a great thought and one that the smart people at Garrison had as well.  The remedy?  In areas where you don’t need the handle or it would be an impediment, simply unscrew the handle from the rest of the assembly.
The result is the image below:
Removing the handle creates the small saw-like device above.  Impressive isn’t it?  One of the other really nice features that Garrison thought to include was the ability to curve the band.  A band that better matches the natural curve of the natural tooth will provide a much better finish.  The blue roller can be rotated in either direction and as it is rotated it causes the band to curve forward or back.  This lets the band be contoured for the proper tooth or from one tooth to another if you are dealing with a MO on one tooth and a DO on the other.  That is where the “twist” in the name comes from.
They come in a variety of grits, serrated,  and also a variety of “holes” for finishing. They can also be purchased in single or double sided.
  • Super fine 15 micron
  • Fine 30 micron
  • Medium 46 micron
  • Coarse 90 micron
  • Serrated

The FitStrip has performed extremely well in my hands.  It has allowed me to get into difficult areas with relative ease and has provided incredibly smooth finishes for my restorations.

Garrison has hit a home run with this product.  My ranking is my highest.  The Garrison FitStrips are Highly Recommended!!!  

Two Great Ways to Remove Moisture from Cleansed Root Canals PDF Print E-mail
coltene-surgitip-endo-aspirating-tips-60018280.jpgPrime_Dental_Luer Vaccum Adapter & Capillary Tips.jpg
The past ten years have seen some incredible advances in the field of endodontics.  One of the greatest, in my opinion, has been advances in obturation.
We no longer have the singular option of mixing up some type of “glue” and then placing multiple fibers of gutta percha in it.  Instead we have things that range from gutta percha and sealer, to obturators (gutta percha on a stick), to bondable resin sealers and obturating fibers.
I have chosen to utilize bondable obturation for a variety of reasons.  When the first possibilities of bonded obturation became available in the early 2000’s I was fascinated by the possibilities.  As a general dentist I immediately understood & appreciated the logic & science behind the bonded concept.

Many studies, going back over 20-30 years have shown that root canal systems can be contaminated by bacteria in as little as 30 days.  Placing a temporary material in the access over a non-bonded obturation is not sufficient.  Bacteria can quickly penetrate the temporary material down to the pulpal floor and than navigate the root canal system to the apex in a month or so.  The unfortunate reality of this all too common clinical situation is that the spaces previously occupied by infected pulp that have been meticulously cleansed can return to their uncleaned state quickly and without symptoms.  Unfortunately, without that knowledge a dentist can, with the best of intentions, then place a permanently cemented or bonded crown on this tooth.  This means that the bacteria are now sealed from the occlusal side, but the bacteria is still within the canal system and has the possibility of causing a recurrent infection at any time.

The reason for this is because the most commonly used access prep temporary materials such as IRM and Cavit are porous and offer no resistance to bacterial penetration.  However, what if you could make the root canal system impervious to this bacterial penetration?  By using a bondable point and a resin based duel cure sealer that bonds to the canal walls, this is exactly what bonded obturation does.

However, the bonded obturation process is a bit different than the standard sealer and gutta percha process.  The main difference being that traditional sealers require a dry canal while any type of a bonded process requires a bit of moisture remains in the canal system.  Frequently ethyl alcohol (ETOH) is the last irrigant used in standard obturation as it evaporates extremely fast and takes any remnants of moisture with it, leaving a dry canal to place the sealer in.

For bonded obturation it’s required to do “wet bonding” and in my protocol the last irrigant is chlorhexidine because of its residual bactericidal effects.  The main question in bonded obturation becomes “how to remove the chlorhexidine without over drying the canal?”  The easiest way I have found to do this is by using some type of capillary tip that can be introduced into the canals and then removed before over drying can occur.

The  photos above are the 2 best products I’ve found to accomplish this.  The first tip is from Coltene (the ROEKO Surgitip-endo) and available through your current dental supply company.  The second tip is from Ultradent (Luer Vacuum Adapter & Capillary Tips) and can be purchased directly from the company.  They are both highly flexible and easy to place.  The technique involves bending the tips to provide straight line access and then sliding the tip into the prepared canal until it binds against the prepared canal wall.  At that point, the tip is quickly withdrawn and removes the majority of the moisture with it.  However, by quickly removing the tip and not allowing air to circulate around it, it does leave the canal walls with adequate moisture to facilitate bonding of the hydrophilic EndoRez Sealer which is purchased from Ultradent.  Cones are then placed in the manner which is most comfortable for the operator.  

My one complaint on the Coltene tip is that it is opaque and you cannot see the chlorhexidine moving through it.  Instead you need a quiet environment where one can *hear* the process.  The Ultradent capillary tip is translucent which allows for the operator to actually see fluid movement through it.

Both products are *highly* recommended.

Garrison Dental Solutions Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion™ Sectional Matrix System PDF Print E-mail
CT3D Fusion.jpg
Starting today, I’ll be putting the Composi-Tight 3D Fusion system through clinical testing.  I’m pretty excited about this new product from Garrison as it appears well thought out & very well designed.  I’ll be reporting back here to let you know how it performs & what I thought about it.  In the meantime, here’s info on the system from Garrison:

Garrison’s new Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion™ Sectional Matrix is engineered to successfully complete a wider variety of Class II composite restorations.  This comprehensive kit includes three varieties of separator rings, five sizes of matrix bands, four sizes of interproximal wedges and a ring placement forceps.  Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion™ is indicated for use in posterior Class II MO/DO, MOD and wide preparation restorations.

The new Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion™ system draws on Garrison’s more than 20 years of sectional matrix leadership to produce their most comprehensive and easy to use system.  The three-ring system consists of a short (blue), tall (orange) and dentistry’s first wide preparation (green) separator rings.  All three incorporate Garrison’s exclusive Soft-Face™ silicone tips for flash reduction and Ultra-Grip™ retention extensions that eliminate ring “spring-off”.


Five sizes of ultra-thin, dead-soft non-stick sectional matrix bands have the addition of a Grab-Tab™ on the occlusal edge to simplify band placement and removal.  These are coupled with four sizes of Garrison’s award winning Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion™ Ultra-Adaptive wedges.  These wedges feature soft “fins” that smoothly adapt matrix bands to tooth irregularities and prevent wedge back out.  In another industry first, Garrison has engineered a drop-forged stainless steel ring placement forceps that make ring placement significantly easier over the largest of molars regardless of hand size or strength.


Color coded and conveniently organized, the Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion™ Sectional Matrix System also has a complete selection of refills available.  Contact Garrison Dental Solutions at 888-437-0032 or visit for more information.


For more information call 1-888-437-0032 or visit 


About Garrison Dental Solutions 


Garrison Dental Solutions, established in 1996, is a privately held company specializing in the design, development and manufacturing of product solutions to improve the quality and efficiency of dentistry.  The Company is the industry leader in sectional matrix systems and its products are sold globally.  Please visit for more information.

Nanodiamonds Show Promise for Aiding Recovery from Root Canal Therapy PDF Print E-mail
For years now, in fact for well over 100 years here in the US, the go to material to fill root canals has been a rubberized form of a tree sap found in the Amazon jungle called Gutta Percha.  The material was melted, had radiopacifiers added (to make it visible on an x-ray) and was then rolled into long thin cone shaped fibers.  These fibers are then placed into the cleaned root canal space.
One of the problems of GP is that it is SO flexible.  Sometimes the little fibers are difficult to place as they want to bend before going exactly where you want them.
Now comes word that placement may become much easier and GP may become stronger due to the inclusion of nanodiamonds.  This is a pretty intriguing discovery from UCLA where it was developed by their dental school and their engineering school.
This could turn out to be a nice improvement for dentistry.  However, everything *always* looks good on the lab bench, but sometimes once it gets to clinical use… not so much.  Over the years, dentistry has seen more than a few discoveries that promised to replace GP, but after a period of time, always returned to the tried and true standard.
I’m very excited about the possibility of GP that has more stiffness and would therefore be easier to handle & place.  My biggest concern at the moment is that the clinical trial of this new material only includes 3 patients.  While the results are promising, I’m waiting for further results.  Give the paper a read and I think you will be guardedly optimistic too.
Dental Pharmacology Expert Tom Viola, RPh, CCP Launches New Informational Website PDF Print E-mail
Tom Viola Head Shot.jpg


“Pharmacology Declassified” Web Site Specifically-Designed to Simplify the Increasingly Complex Pharmacology Landscape for The Entire Dental Team


Columbus, NJ – October 24, 2017 – Tom Viola, RPh, CCP, a world-renowned authority on dental pharmacology, recently launched a new web site ( to support and expand his popular “Pharmacology Declassified” educational platform.


According to Viola, “Dental professionals are tasked with the safe and effective management of medically-complex patients – especially with the aging of baby boomers and as we evolve into an oral-systemic health model. However, they are faced with a seemingly overwhelming amount of information.”


The new “Pharmacology Declassified” web site is easy to navigate and puts a wealth of information at the fingertips of dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and office managers. Some valuable online resources include:


  • Live CE Courses
  • On-Demand CE Webinars
  • College Curriculum
  • Lecture Calendar
  • Archived Articles

 “The intent of this web site is to be a go-to resource to help dental teams keep up with the latest trends in pharmacology and disease state management, added Viola.” I believe it will also ensure positive patient outcomes from a total health perspective and hopefully, be an important catalyst for increased dental-medical collaboration.”


For more information, visit Contact Tom Viola, RPh, CCP at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   Meeting planners click here. Follow Tom and “Pharmacology Declassified” on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


About Tom Viola RPh, CCP:


Knowledge of pharmacology has never been more essential to patient care! With over 30 years’ experience as a pharmacist, dental educator and author, Tom Viola, RPh, CCP has earned a reputation as an international authority on dental pharmacology. 


As a clinical educator, Tom is on the faculty of ten dental professional degree programs. In this role, he has instructed students in chemistry, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and local anesthesia. In addition, Tom has instructed hundreds of practicing dental hygienists in local anesthesia certification courses.


As a published writer, Tom is well known nationally and internationally for his contributions to many dental journals in the areas of pharmacology, pain management and local anesthesia. In addition, Tom has served as a contributor, chapter author and peer reviewer for several dental pharmacology textbooks and national board exam review books.


As a professional speaker, Tom has presented continuing education courses to dental professionals throughout the world. Meeting planners agree that Tom is their choice to educate audiences within this specialty.


Tom can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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