(3) When the matrix material has been removed from the mouth, the dental
specialist should also be prepared to rinse the patient's mouth as necessary during and
after final carving procedures.
g. Finishing and Polishing Amalgam Restorations
(1) Amalgam covers. Finally, the dental officer is ready to finish the
restoration. In this step, he will complete the procedure so that patient is able to function
normally. In placing the amalgam, the dental officer will overfill the preparation during the
condensation phase to obtain sufficient bulk of material to carve the amalgam down to the
original contour of the tooth. He will use amalgam carvers to contour the partially
crystallized amalgam. He may employ the Hollenback number 3, the cleoid number 92,
and the discoid number 89. The Hollenback number 3 has two grain-shaped blades. The
cleoid carver has only one blade, a concave pointed oval that resembles a claw (in the
Medical Supply Catalog this instrument is listed as a claw excavator). The discoid
amalgam carver has a single blade that is round or disc-shaped (discoid).
(2) Articulating paper. The final item is articulating paper. It closely
resembles blue carbon paper and is issued in a roll or package form. Desired lengths are
cut from the roll or selected from the package and the patient is instructed to bite down
normally with the strip of articulating paper over the occlusal surfaces of the teeth. Any
high spots in the patient's occlusion will be detected by noting blue spots on the teeth.
The dental officer may have a patient return for final finishing and polishing of the
amalgam restoration 24 or more hours after its insertion. This is done to eliminate small
excesses of amalgam that may have been left overhanging cavity margins, to refine
occlusal contours of the restoration, and to develop a smooth, shiny surface that will resist
(3) Materials. Finishing and polishing is done with fine polishing disks and
strips, green stones, finishing burs, chalk, and other fine polishing agents. An old contra-
angle hand piece is operated at slow speed along with "wet" solutions (mixtures) of
polishing materials to minimize heat production. Heat produced during the polishing
could weaken the surface of the amalgam. Rubber polishing cups and polishing brushes
are commonly used to apply the polishing materials.
Figure 2-31 outlines steps of procedure for the dental specialist and the dental
officer when preparing amalgam restorations with a cement base.
2-18. COMPOSITE RESIN RESTORATIONS
a. General. Composite resin is commonly used as a restorative material in
anterior teeth because of its resistance to wear and its excellent aesthetics. The design
of the cavity preparation will differ from the design of the amalgam, but most of the dental
specialist's duties will be the same as those when amalgam is used. See figure 2-32 for
steps of procedure when preparing restorations made of composite resin.