Wednesday, October 27, 2021

FirstPlug® Fills the Void in Restoration Screw Channel Barrier Materials


One of the things dentistry has needed for a while is a reliable and easy way to fill the screw heads of implants.  Over the years I've seen several different ideas tried.  Some doctors have advocated putting small cotton pellets in the access.  Some have advocated using retraction cord.  The best idea I've seen is to use a small piece of Teflon tape that is packed into the access to protect the implant screw head.

Teflon tape can work, but it is not easy to use isn't in the best form factor for placement.  Now there is a new company in the dental industry that has a product that solves this age old problem.  It is a Teflon material specifically designed for implants.  Read on for the details on 35Newtons®...

The launch of FirstPlug® from 35Newtons®, brings a much- needed upgrade to the clinically sensitive task of filling access channels in screw retained restorations. The patented system consists of a medical grade PTFE barrier material and an instrument set optimized for packing or filling retention screw channels during restorative procedures. 

Material selection for covering implant abutment screws is important to limit leakage which has been shown to negatively impact peri-implant tissues. “None of the common materials and techniques in use today were developed specifically for this procedure and all have their drawbacks,” said Dr. Jim Janakievski, a Tacoma area periodontist, and co-founder of 35Newtons. For example, cotton pellets provide an ideal substrate for pathogenic oral flora to flourish, while gutta percha can be difficult to remove. “The ideal barrier material provides a good seal to limit leakage, is pliable, biologically inert, and easily retrievable,” said Dr. Alex Shor, prosthodontist and 35Newtons co-founder. 

FirstPlug is made from PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), which at a basic level is similar to the material used to make industrial plumber’s tape. “Many dentists are creative problem solvers and lacking suitable alternatives some have undoubtedly resorted to the local hardware store for an answer,” said Dr. Janakievski. “PTFE is the right material, but we feel strongly that implants and other sensitive dental procedures call for a medical grade solution.” FirstPlug PTFE is made in the USA, providing extra assurance regarding the raw material composition and manufacturing environment. 

Every detail of the FirstPlug system has been engineered to fit the clinical application. The large diameter cylindrically shaped cord seats easily in the screw channel without rolling or twisting. The medical grade PTFE has the right compression characteristics for packing and sealing the screw access chamber, as well as sufficient stiffness to support the overlying restorative materials. The accompanying instrument set includes a wide diameter barrier plugger for efficient packing of the PTFE cord, as well as a barrier excavator for easy removal when uncovering the screw to remove temporaries or replace a restoration. 

In addition to the optimized physical characteristics of the medical grade PTFE material itself, FirstPlug is manufactured, assembled, and packaged under strict medical device protocols and quality systems. “Of course, FirstPlug users appreciate the added convenience, efficiency, and clinical benefits,” said Dr Shor. “But first and foremost, we hear from our dentists that sealing implant access channels with a medical grade material, made in medical class conditions offers invaluable peace of mind.” 

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