Dental caries or defects on the teeth may occur on different areas. Pit and fissure caries affect the occlusal table and decay of this nature is limited to just one surface, but when caries extend to the proximal areas, a different approach is required. When the sides are involved, a barrier or matrix band is utilised to keep saliva and blood away from the area and properly restore the proximal and contact points. Ideally, a matrix barrier should be enough. It is inserted in between the teeth, is held in place with the help of wedge and the restoration is given to the tooth without any problem.
Unfortunately, sometimes you will come across those frustrating cases when you stick a wedge into a matrix and the bloody gum still bleeds as you work. This can be quite frustrating because it makes it hopeless to restore the tooth. The blood and saliva will disrupt your work, so you will take longer. Either that or the restorative work you complete will be poor.
One way of adapting the matrix more intimately is the use of another wedge (two wedges) or another neat trick is to use Teflon tape (aka plumbers tape) to adapt the matrix to ensure a clean field to place your composite. Using a Teflon tape is unusual but it offers a few benefits:
- Teflon tape will isolate the and provide visual enhancement for results achieved. With its help, the dentist is able to shape the composite up to the proximal third of the crown.
- The Teflon tape is very flexible and thin. It is kind of the tissues and it inserts easily through the area between the gum and tooth. It provides better barrier and protection to the tooth and gums.
- This offers proper manipulation of the composite material, so that you can avoid creating dark triangles in between the anterior teeth you are trying to restore.