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Endodontist designs innovative irrigation tip for multiple procedures

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Many different tips are available for the Stropko Irrigator.
Fred Michmershuizen, DTI

By Fred Michmershuizen, DTI

Tue. 17. March 2009

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In 1991, Dr John Stropko, an endodontist, began to use the Surgical Operating Microscope (SOM) routinely in his practice. One of the first clinical obstacles he encountered while performing apical surgery was the difficulty of cleaning and drying hard-to-reach areas.

“Cleaning and drying the apical preparation prior to filling was a frustrating event,” Strokpo told Dental Tribune. “Blood and debris in the root-end preparation was extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove. The tips normally attached to the air/water syringes, and the use of bent absorbent paper points just didn’t get a good result in the attempt to satisfactorily clean the apical preparation.”

To solve this problem, Stropko made a unique change to the tip of the traditional air/water syringe. He designed a syringe tip with a Luer-loc at the end of it. This innovation allowed him to attach a variety of tips or needles that were designed to fit into a Luer-loc syringe. Needles of 23, 25 or 27 gauge could be bent in any desired configuration so a precise stream of water could be directed into any small, hard-to-reach area, to effectively flush it of blood or debris, and then dry it with confidence. The filling material could now be placed into a clean root end preparation with more confidence of a good seal.

Within a short time, the SOM started to be used for all retreatment and conventional endodontic procedures. Ultrasonic instrumentation was utilized to effectively locate hidden canals and remove separated instruments. The main problem encountered while using ultrasonics was the dentinal dust that was generated in the process. The vision of the operator was impaired.

The Stropko Irrigator was found to be invaluable for maintaining good vision during the use of these ultrasonic procedures. The dental assistant, using a controlled and precise flow of air, directly at the working site, allowed the doctor the consistent vision necessary for even the most delicate procedure.

But the Stropko Irrigator is not just for endodontics. It has essential uses in any discipline of dentistry. Precise control of irrigation with water and/or air can now be achieved on a routine basis. Many dentists now use the Stropko Irrigator to make the task easier during all endodontic, restorative, periodontal, surgical, micro-adhesive and implant procedures. Thorough cleaning and/or drying any area can be done with more precision and efficiency.

Surface management during micro-adhesive dentistry can be done with confidence. Cleaning and drying the sulcus prior to taking an impression is gentle and effective. Gentle airflow can be used to ‘thin’ resin for total light cure during placement in deep areas.

During the implant process, it can be used to remove debris from the osseous sockets; clean both the drill and osteotomy for vision; flush debris out of the internal screw channel before abutment seating; and maintain tissue moisture throughout the entire procedure.

Even the hygienist can use the Stropko Irrigator to gently ‘fluff’ sulcular tissue to check for sub-gingival calculus.

“In any procedure, inadvertent splashing, or contamination of the site is avoided,” Stropko says. “Having complete control of irrigation saves time, avoids extra work and eliminates unnecessary stress. The final result of the dental procedure is achieved easier and with more predictability.”

The Stropko Irrigator is available in two lengths: SI-XL is 4 inches, and the SI-OL is 2.5 inches long. It easily replaces any three-way syringe tip and accepts a variety of Luer-Lock tips that are readily available. Adapters are included for older three-way syringes that require a nut for attachment. The SI-XL has become popular due to the ability of the operator, and/or the assistant, to remain ergonomically clear of the working site. The newer ‘quick disconnect’ syringes make the change quick and easy.

The Stropko Irrigators are available through Clinicians Choice in Canada, or SybronEndo or Vista Dental in the USA.

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