Easier, Quicker Class 2 Preparations

You have a young patient with good oral hygiene yet 16 (#3) has mesial caries into the dentine and you need to restore it. 15 (#4) is a virgin tooth and access isn’t ideal. Can you afford to risk damaging the premolar?

I know you have never dinged the adjacent tooth before, but T Milic et al found 74% of experienced dentists damaged the adjacent tooth during routine restorative treatment. As expected this was even more for students. 

Most will slow down and do their best to avoid the precious neighbour. Others will smooth the groove. Why not avoid it altogether without the added time?

In the right situation I find Fender Wedges or the Triodent Wedgeguard invaluable. Not only can I confidently prepare interproximally without touching the adjacent, I can ensure the slot prep is as minimal as possible and remove lips without nicking the neighbour. Above all, this makes me much faster. A slot prep is rarely more than a minute or so.

Yet these are actually pretty pricey. It’s not something I reach for when there is a large cavitation or if I have really good vision and access.

Many advocate pre-wedging for the benefit of protecting the interdental papilla and improving separation, which optimises the contact. A protecting wedge will do both.

I personally use Triodent Wedgeguards as you can pull off the matrix and then use the Triodent wedge with the V3 system. Saving the cost of an additional wedge.

[We do not earn anything from this recommendation – it’s simply here because we find it helpful ourselves!]


Try it out



Milic, T. , George, R. and Walsh, L. (2015), Evaluation and prevention of enamel surface damage during dental restorative procedures. Aust Dent J, 60: 301-308. doi:10.1111/adj.12230


David is a recent graduate dentist working in private practice in regional NSW, Australia. Read more at www.dentalheadstart.com/meet-david/

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