Is that too many “T’s” for one title.. probably.. We both LOVE PTFE tape and for good reason. Here are 5 great ways to use it.
Tip 1: Choosing the right tape
The first tip is to not just buy any random PTFE tape. Dentists sometimes struggle with PTFE because the ones they buy are too thin and flimsy to use. Make sure you buy PTFE tape that’s 0.2mm thick rather than the standard 0.075mm ones. I’ll put a link in the description for the ones I’ve found. This thicker tape is much easier to handle and doesn’t rip as easily.
Tip 2: Endo temporisation
Tip 2 solves one of the most annoying things when doing endodontic treatment which is placing and removing the cotton pledget in the pulp chamber in between appointments. The cotton has fibers that frail and don’t come out clean. Using a PTFE pledget is much easier and comes out in one piece! Try it out on your next root canal.
Tip 3: Place it over canals
Our third tip involves endodontics too. When doing a root canal treatment, there are often times when we need to build a mesial or distal wall with composite to be able to prevent Hypochlorite leakage. When doing this, make sure to place some PTFE over the canals and then etch and bond. This will help prevent any bond or composite from going into your canals and blocking them.
Tip 4: Need a bigger wedge?
The next tip is to use PTFE around your wedge to make it thicker. You don’t need to do this in every case, only those where you notice there is still a gap between the floor of your cavity and the matrix band, even with your largest wedge.
Tip 5: Removing excess cement
Our fifth and final tip when using PTFE is to remove excess cement when bonding on crowns or onlays. Typical floss has fibers which cement can stick on to. So when removing the floss, it can frail. PTFE tape however is inert and so composite or bond won’t stick to it and will allow for easy removal. Take a long piece of PTFE tape and roll it between your fingers to make a long piece of floss. Place it in the interproximal regions of your prep before cementing. During the tack cure phase of your cementation, you can cleanly pull the PTFE floss out and remove the excess cement.