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Role of Matrix Retainer in Dental Restorations & Its Different Types

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matrix retainer
matrix retainer

Maintaining a proper tooth structure is extremely important for living a healthy life. Once it gets damaged it can lead to several oral health problems including teeth loss. Many different matrix systems have evolved over the years to provide effective tooth restorations. Matrix retainer, metal band, and wedges are combinedly used to make it work as a single instrument. If used in a proper way it can make restorations quick and easy.

Human teeth and periodontium are uniquely created. They are designed in such a way that provides support and protection to each other in fending off different gum diseases, like periodontitis. Which can destroy soft tissues, and also the bone supporting the teeth gets badly affected, resulting in tooth decay. Any form of discontinuity between the contacts of the teeth, like a damaged proximal area, can cause a serious impact on the periodontium. It is a support structure of the tooth; not only that it negate oral flora, but it is vital in the attachment of bone to teeth. The shape and form of the teeth are such that it combinedly protects the periodontium while chewing or crushing.

It is extremely necessary to keep the proximal surface of the teeth in their perfect contour. If not restored or maintained, it can cause a few health concerns. Such as;

  •  Repeated occurrence of caries due to food impact.
  • The gap between the teeth widens, causing it to drift or rotate
  • Injury or trauma can occur to the periodontium

Caries, erosion, and trauma can cause teeth structure to get damaged quite easily. In reconstructing the missing structure, dentists have many different choices regarding various instruments and techniques. Proper knowledge of tooth anatomy and perfect visualization of the missing structure is necessary for tooth rehabilitation. 

The Matrix system is significant in tooth restoration involving the missing interproximal surface. This system includes a matrix band and retainer, sometimes used with wedges. Metal bands compensate for the missing walls. The retainer holds the band firmly in place, creating a mold to restrict the restorative material in the proper position till it becomes stiff.

Matrix Retainer Types 

The retainer serves a crucial purpose in tooth preparation by holding the band tightly enough to ease the process of tooth restoration. These retainers have improved over the years with advancements in manufacturing methods. Different varieties of retainers exist in the market; some of the most prominent ones are mentioned below;

Ivory Retainer No. 1; This system includes a screw and a clamp as its main parts. It is one of the earliest systems used to perform class ll preparations for a tooth. It is Shaped in the way of two semi-circles with pointed ends, which fits into a-holes made into an ivory band to hold it firmly around the tooth to cover one proximal side. One end of the retainer consists of a claw. The other end consists of a screw which, when turned clockwise or anti-clockwise, enables opening and closing of the claw. It is quite economical to use this system and can easily be sterilized. 

Ivory Retainer No. 8; It is different in design than ivory No. 1 retainer. Instead of a claw at one end, it consists of a metal band that is placed around the tooth. To fully encircle it on both proximal sides. The screw on the other end is used to adjust the size of the band. It is also quite economical to maintain, like the ivory No.1.

Tofflemire Retainer; This is the modified version of ivory no 8, developed in 1946 by Dr. Joseph B.F. Tofflemire. Also called a universal matrix. It is used in many different types of restorations. However, it is used for class ll and compound amalgam restorations. It is slightly more complex than ivory No.1 and ivory No.8 matrix retainer dental instruments. Nevertheless, it provides a secure supporting wall for the procedure and excellent contour to the restoration. It can be used with either a straight matrix band or a pre-contoured one.

Siqveland Retainer; It consists of a latch at one end for making a secure loop for cavity preparation. Moreover, the other end consists of a screw to control the size of the loop for a perfect fit. It comes in two types, depending on the type of matrix band to be used. One can receive a narrow band and the other works with the wider band.

Matrix retainer is a compulsory instrument for providing dental restorations. It has evolved over the years and has made restorations easier and less time-consuming.

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