Ivoclar ICDE event Day one

Very proud to have been invited again to take part in the ICDE dental event here in Leicester @ivoclarUK. Have really enjoyed giving three aesthetic composite hands in workshops this morning and settling down for an afternoon on ceramics from Dr James Russell (of Embarrassing Bodies fame) and legendary technician Rob Lynock.

It never fails to impress me this companies commitment to education. As dentists we are often bombarded with heavy handed sales tactics from manufacturers and suppliers and now more than ever, those techniques are wearing thin. Too blatant, it has to be a softer approach needed with a high perceived value for the dentist.

Ivoclar are becoming renowned for investing in education in Dentistry. This seems to me quite obvious, if you can impart product knowledge, improve understanding and help to improve the lives of the patients and the dentist, that’s got to be a good thing.

I think this approach is extremely good for the company as well, Ivoclar Vivadent are an international company with many of the offices, like the UK, having dedicated training facilities, with labs, clinic workstations, real treatment surgeries, lecture rooms etc.

We are always taught to be wary of companies pushing education or sponsoring events, almost like the involvement of corporations somehow taints the quality of the learning. The truth is, people like Ivoclar have huge research and development departments testing, improving and innovating every day of the week.

We shouldn’t automatically think they are doing these things to satisfy shareholders and buy bigger cars for their staff, we should like success, we should celebrate it but at the end of the day, our patients benefit from the advances they and we make.

I look forward to attending the anniversary event for years to come and I hope to continue my relationship with such a customer and patient focused company.


Inman Align, bleach, bond

Nice result with Combination upper Inman aligner and lower clears at the same time.


Eliminating the gag reflex with Happy Air (Relative analgesia)


A very common problem patients have is a sensitive gag reflex. This can present a serious challenge carrying out even simple treatment like taking X-rays or impressions.

There are some really great simple ways to help a lot of people, like salt on the tongue, topical anaesthetic on the soft palate, lifting one leg off the couch during treatment (my personal favourite) but these can be short lived.

This is where RA, Happy Air or Nitrous Oxide sedation can really help.

There have been two cases recently I’d love to share.

A middle aged chap needed a filling on a lower molar. He dreaded the idea of this and said that it was going to be unsuccessful because he had such a strong gag reflex, you could hear him downstairs in the waiting room.

Before we started, I tested his reflex by touching the side of his tongue next to the tooth we were going to treat. Sure enough, he made the usual incredible gag noise.

After 5 minutes of RA and then taking him off the gas, nothing. I did his injection at the back, nothing. Placed rubber dam and did a great white filling, nothing. The procedure took 30 minutes in total and as he said afterwards, there would have been no way he could have had that done otherwise.

And this is what we are finding. 5 mins or Happy Air is enough to knock out the strongest if gag reflexes for at least 30 minutes.

The second case was a youngish guy who sadly had to lose four upper front teeth due to a decayed bridge. He had a very strong gag reflex and was worried that he would not be able to cope with impressions for a denture.

Using the end of a mirror handle I mapped out where his reflex was and noted that we could safely make a horseshoe style denture for him without setting off his reflex.

5 minutes of happy air later, took very successful impressions without any hint of gagging.

Took the teeth out a week later and he has been successfully wearing the denture for 4 months.

Now it’s time for a decent chrome denture with more accurate impressions. We’ve had two sessions already with primary and secondary impressions, again after a few minutes of RA, not a hint of the gag reflex.

Again, someone who would have had real trouble getting to treatment he so needed.

RA is so straight forward for the patient, especially in these circumstances. Just takes a few minutes and the patient can safely drive back to work after a short recovery period. Makes a huge difference.

If you are a dentist and are keen to explore RA, may I recommend Dr Richard Charon to you who runs courses throughout the UK, including here at WDTI. He’s the UKs number one RA trainer.

Many thanks to Dr Richard Charon in Newbury for coining the phrase (Happy Air) and being my RA coach – genius!

ICDE Ivoclar education event 28th 29th June


I’m very proud to part of the third annual ICDE education event in Leicester at the end of the month. All the details you need can be found on the Ivoclar Vivadent Website.

There’s an amazing line up this year, welcoming back James Russell and Rob Lynock who last year did an incredible presentation about Emax ceramic, the sort of lecture which makes you really want to “up your game”.

We are delighted to have Ashley Latter this year, sharing some excellent dental business wisdom, no doubt an unmissable talk which will leave us much to think about and changes to make.

Prof Ario Santini is going to be a highlight for me, he is passionate about light curing and it’s going to be great to hear how important he feels correct curing is for the longevity o our composites.

It’s a packed programme of events, including my humble anterior composite workshops where I will talking about Empress Direct anterior and posterior composites, Optrasculpt Pad (the best thing ever for sculpting anterior composites) and Bioclear Matrix Bands for perfect anterior contact points.

No Impression Digital scanning of a C-tech implants


Great case today, using the iTero scanner in the surgery, taking an extremely accurate impression of a C-Tech implant without the use of any rubbery or sloppy impression materials.

Many thanks to Ashley Byrne Dental Technician for manufacturing the impression scanbody, and huge thanks to one of my excellent nursing team, Lisa Richardson for her scanning work, not bad for her first go!

To view the raw STL file, download it by clicking the link download STL file

To download STL 3d viewing software for Windows, Mac, Android or iOS device (looks very cool on iPad or iPhone) go to the Meshlab download page

Or download the iOS app for free