Amalgam Polishing

Amalgam Polishing

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This video will demonstrate amalgam
polishing on a typodont. An amalgam can be polished 24 hours after placement. Here is an unpolished amalgam on the left
compared to a polished one on the right. Polishing amalgams will
create a smooth cavosurface margin, reduce biofilm retention, resist tarnish and corrosion, and increase the longevity of the
restoration. An abrasive greenstone, or a large round
bur can be used to prepare the surface for polishing. A rounded end is preferable to avoid
putting grooves in the occlusal surface of the amalgam. The burs we use are latch type. Latch type burs
require a contra angle attachment on the slow speed handpiece. Place the bur in the contra angle and twist until it is fully seated. Close
the latch to hold the bur. Tug on the bur end to
ensure it is held fully in place. This is to ensure that the bur does not
come out in the patient’s mouth while working. We
will be using the Shofu amalgam polishing system. There are
points and cups in 3 stages of abrasiveness. The points and cups are
called brownies, greenies, and super greenies. They will be used in this order with the
most abrasive brownies used first. Examine the amalgam restoration
with an explorer to detect any rough surface anatomy or
margin defects. If the restoration has a rough surface use the greenstone to smooth out the
defects. Care must be taken not to put too much
pressure on the amalgam because friction will cause heat
build-up. The critical temperature for pulp damage is 140 degrees fahrenheit. On a patient rinse frequently with the air water
syringe to cool and clean the surface. When using a typodont use wet gauze. The amalgam surface should be smooth,
free of defects, and have a shiny appearance. There should
be no voids or dull areas. Remove the greenstone and insert the brownie point. Apply moderate pressure with the brownie point to polish the grooves on the occlusal surface. Rinse the surface to cool and to clean. On a patient this
would be done with the water syringe. Use the brownie cup to polish the cusps and interproximal
surfaces. Flair the edge of the cup on the cusps and interproximally if needed. Rinse the surface to cool and to clean. Insert the less
abrasive greenie point Insert the less
abrasive greenie point and polish the grooves on the occlusal surfaces. Rinse with water to cool and to clean. Insert the greenie
cup and polish the cusps of the occlusal
surfaces and the interproximal surfaces if needed. Rinse the surface with water to cool and to clean. The super
greenies have a yellow band on the shank. Use the super greenie
point to polish grooves on the occlusal surfaces. Rinse the surface with water to cool and to clean. Use the super
greenie cup to polish the cusps of the occlusal
surfaces and the interproximal surfaces. Rinse with water to cool and to clean. Inspect the surface for a
high glossy shine that should look like a piece aluminum
foil. The finished amalgam should be smooth and have no visible scratches or rough margins.

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