Dr. Hornbrook’s Favorite Dental Tools

Every dentist has their favorite tools that helps them be better clinicians and to serve their patients better, and Dr. Hornbrook is no different. As the Clinical Director of Education and Technology here at Keating Dental Lab and as a dentist in private practice, he’s found his favorite tools to maximize quality of care.

Dr. Hornbrook’s Favorite Dental Tools

STA Wand

Whether you still call it “the wand” or by it’s other name, STA (Single Tooth Anesthetic), a computer-controlled anesthetic delivery device is a necessary tool. Why is this a must-have for Dr. Hornbrook’s practice?

With the wand, you’re able to deliver anesthetic precisely and painlessly. Instead of anesthetizing part of the mouth, the STA allows us to only numb the tooth in question, even for crown or bridge work. Dr. Hornbrook general gives PDLs or infiltrations, and this tool has a nice handpiece with a foot pedal.

The STA also has a feature that tells you if you’re truly in the PDL, based on back pressure, which the original wand didn’t have. For most of the preparations, including crowns, Dr. Hornbrook gives less than a quarter of a carpule. This means the patient only has slight numbness around that specific tooth instead of the lingering anesthetic from the typical block.

Picasso Diode Laser

The Picasso diode laser has been a staple in Dr. Hornbrook’s office since the mid-90s, when they were costing nearly $50,000. Over the years it’s consistently dropped in price since then to under $4,000. And today’s diode lasers are better than the $50,000 models. Because it’s become so accessible, he thinks every clinician should have a diode laser, especially when working with restorations.

Dr. Hornbrook prefers AMD’s Picasso laser; they’re a great company with great support.

3M True Definition Scanner

Dr. Hornbrook believes digital impressions are the future, and that the future is now. Dental labs prefer digital impressions, though many dentists are hesitant to make that jump. Before these digital scanners were available, digital impressions required a mill, which meant over a hundred thousand dollars. Often, dentists didn’t want to both with making their own restorations when their laboratory or ceramist could make the restoration.

We have the 3M True Definition scanner here, and it’s both accurate and affordable, which is often hard to find. It’s in the $16,000 range, and has an open architecture file type means that any lab can take it and design the restoration.

This digital scanner can be used for Invisalign, removable bridges, or just about anything you need an impression for. From these scans, we can then create a modeless restoration, or provide accurate, traditional models out of epoxy.

KaVo Electric Handpiece

The fourth tool Dr. Hornbrook can’t live without is the KaVo electric handpiece. If you haven’t made the switch to electric handpieces yet, what are you waiting for? While the Air Turbine models work, electric handpieces are balanced, quiet, and multi-use.

The quality of KaVo is hard to beat, which is important for a tool that’s used daily in a busy practice. When moving from procedure to procedure, you need a tool that’s efficient and predictable. Aside from being quiet and well-balanced, they’re shorter than earlier models, and they also have different speeds, which helps your efficiency.

AMD LiteTouch Erbium YAG Laser

Can you tell we like AMD’s products? This is Dr. Hornbrook’s newest favorite, because it’s so versatile and helps give a better overall patient experience. The LiteTouch laser can do both hard and soft tissue; he can do gingivectomies, ovate pontics, and essentially everything that a diode laser does but with hard tissue, as well. Incipient lesions, whether Class 1’s, Class 2’s, Class 3s, or Class 5s can also be easily taken care of. And often, these procedures can be done without anesthetic.

The LiteTouch, though, has the laser in the handpiece instead of in the cable, which makes it lighter and easier to maneuver. Most Erbium-YAG lasers are two to three times more expensive, and aren’t as user-friendly.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Dr. Hornbrook’s favorite tools, and that this has perhaps solidified some decisions for your office. We’ll continue to release these product round ups as we find more valuable tools for your dental office. If you’re ever in the Irvine area, we’d love to have you stop by and see these tools in person, so give us a call.

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