At Practicon, our favorite products always have a story behind them. Building on our mission to Make Dentistry Better, we are always in the process of creating and finding "practical innovations" that provide new solutions for common problems. Listening to our customers, understanding your challenges, and being passionate about what we do helps us bring you products that make a difference—in patient care, productivity, profitability, and professional enjoyment.
Multiple studies have shown a significant reduction in sports-related orofacial injuries with the use of protective mouthguards. Athletes with orthodontic hardware face an even greater risk of facial trauma. Due to wear and contamination, another study recommends replacing a mouthguard every week. For a young, growing athlete, however, a custom-fitted mouthguard is often impractical for numerous reasons.
Developed after years of research by Dr. Ted Croll, a leading pediatric dentist in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, ToothShield is an inexpensive, sanitary alternative to custom-fabricated mouthguards. Made in the USA of a soft, flexible, FDA-grade thermoplastic elastomer, ToothShield is a patented, multi-use, disposable athletic mouthguard that protects teeth from impact-related trauma during any recreational activity that might cause oral or facial injury.
ToothShield adjusts to fit any size mouth, children or adults, without boiling or heating, and its patented design helps eliminate gagging while keeping ToothShield securely in place. ToothShield's soft, flexible material fits comfortably, even over orthodontic hardware. And ToothShield is so inexpensive that users can replace it whenever they should.
ToothShield is sold in packs of three mouthguards in Banana Yellow or Froggy Green colors. Each is individually wrapped and includes complete instructions.
Shark Tray™ Posterior Impression Trays
It can be extremely frustrating, after all the work of producing a beautiful prep, to end up with an inadequate impression, forcing you to try again, losing precious time, effort and wasted materials when you have to reimpress.
Even worse, receiving an expensive crown from the lab, only to find that it doesn't fit because of a distorted impression, requires having to start over, involving the effort and inconvenience of reappointing the patient and losing even more of your practice's time and money.
Dr. Aaron Tropmann, a dentist with a very busy practice in Raleigh, North Carolina, saw from his experience that many failed impressions were the result of patients repositioning their bite as their teeth and gums came in contact with the high sidewalls of standard impression trays. But Dr. Tropmann understood that the sidewalls were necessary to push the impression material into all areas of the prep, and to prevent lateral seepage of the material.
Thus the idea for the Shark Tray was born.
Shark Tray features soft foam walls that are tall enough to contain impression material and create enough vertical force to capture every detail of critical margin areas, but so much shorter than traditional tray walls that patients hardly notice the tray and no longer "bite twice.”
Shark Tray also incorporates an easy-grip, ergonomic ("shark tail”) handle, making it easy to transfer the tray securely between staff and doctor.
Posterior Shark Trays are sold in boxes of 32 disposable trays.
Along with the enormous advantages of digital radiography come new areas of concern, one of which is the proper care of delicate digital X-ray sensors. One of the parts of the sensor most susceptible to damage is the cable that connects the sensor to the computer. A cable that is long enough to reach the patient from an operatory computer is continually subjected to the possibility of severe damage from kinks, knots, rolling chairs, or other external compression forces.
The WireGuard X-ray Sensor Cable Protector was invented by Dr. Dorothy Kassab of Canastota, New York, and proven in her busy practice. Searching for a simple way to extend the life of her expensive X-ray sensors, Dr. Kassab conceived of an outer flexible cover that would wrap around sensor cables to add durability.
Finalized and produced in partnership with Practicon, WireGuard is a transparent silicone cover that prevents coiling, kinking, knotting, and tangling of delicate sensor wires. A single slit down the entire length of WireGuard makes it easy to install. WireGuard is sold in five- and eight-foot lengths, and is easy to clean with any surface disinfectant.
Lock-On™ Saliva Ejector Valve Tips
There’s nothing more frustrating than starting to prepare an operatory for the next patient and discovering that the rubber saliva ejector valve tip has gone missing. It’s well known that these rubber tips deteriorate and weaken over time, and end up coming off when you least expect it, usually at the most inconvenient time. Something that could keep these rubber collars securely attached would save time, effort and the expense of replacement.
Dr. Mark Pike, a busy and popular dentist in Fayetteville, North Carolina, came up with the idea for a rubber tip that would somehow “lock on” the valve so that it would not come off unintentionally, and even proposed some initial designs that did not quite accomplish the intended goal.
Brad Griffin, VP of Product Development at Practicon, refined Dr. Pike’s concept to produce the Lock-On Saliva Ejector Valve Tip. Featuring a slip-on locking ring, the bright blue silicone Lock-On installs in seconds, stays put under tension and will not come off by accident.
Lock-On Tips are a money-saving replacement that fit all standard saliva ejector valves. Lock-Ons are sold in packs of three blue tips with three locking rings.
Impression Material Saver™ Insert
Most maxillary impression trays are designed to capture not only the full arch of upper teeth, but the form of the palatal vault as well. Unless you’re a prosthodontist or other practitioner preparing a patient for a full upper denture, capturing this palatal information is unnecessary and actually wastes a considerable amount of expensive impression material.
This prompted Dr. Gary Rabinowitz, a popular cosmetic and general dentist in New York, New York, to come up with the concept for Impression Material Saver Foam Inserts. Dr. Rabinowitz worked closely with Brad Griffin, VP for Product Development at Practicon, to develop and test various incarnations of the product as the design was refined and finalized.
The result: Impression Material Savers are true to their name. Material usage was reduced by 25%, saving dental practices about $3.00 per VPS impression.
Impression Material Savers are made of soft memory foam with a peel-and-stick adhesive backing suitable for all metal or plastic maxillary full-arch trays and are available in two sizes.
WhisperSafe™ HVE Tips
Everyone appreciates the efficiency of the high-volume evacuator (HVE) for the removal of waste and liquids during procedures. For those with even slightly sensitive hearing, however, the noise level of the HVE can become unbearable over time.
Drs. Mary and Tony Gadbois, a husband-and-wife team with a successful dental practice in Columbia, Missouri, worked together to solve this problem. Their knowledge of fluid dynamics led them to understand that most of the noise of the HVE is caused by air turbulence as it travels rapidly through the tip. If this turbulence could be reduced, the corresponding noise would be reduced as well.
Dr. Mary and Dr. Tony designed WhisperSafe, a single-use HVE tip with multiple internal walls that significantly limit turbulence within each of the internal air passages without reducing vacuum effectiveness. When viewed in cross-section, WhisperSafe’s internal honeycomb structure looks like the hub and spokes of a wheel that run the length of the entire tip.
Not only has WhisperSafe been proven in testing to reduce HVE noise level by 50%, WhisperSafe has the added advantage of superior rigidity for cheek retraction and acts as a screen to prevent aspiration of larger particles (like crowns).
WhisperSafe is sold in bags of 100 tips.
Angle-Ease Adjustable High Volume Evacuator Tips
The Angle-Ease Adjustable HVE Tip was born from a suggestion by a local dental hygienist to "make an HVE tip that is bendable" in order to improve suction efficiency and operator comfort. Many attempts were made at a corrugated tube design, similar to a bendable drinking straw, in both plastic and steel. However, a corrugated plastic design would not hold a bend well enough to retract the cheek. A steel design, besides requiring constant sterilization, contained narrow crevices inside that trapped debris over time.
Finally Brad Griffin, Practicon's VP of Product Development, came across an idea for a rotating tubing connection while building Brio toys with his children. Two snap-together components could form a straight line or a right angle depending on how they were turned. The bendable yet rigid tubing problem was solved. Adding an indexing feature to the final product prevented the tubes from turning freely under pressure, helping to improve retraction and control. Better visibility became another favorite benefit of the offset design. Thousands of Angle-Ease HVE Tips have been sold with positive feedback from dental professionals who are able to work more easily thanks to its patented design.