The Mini Dental Organiser is the latest Australian invention to launch onto the world stage from Sydney dentist Craig Erskine-Smith. The MDO may look like a matchbox-sized black plastic table for a dolls house, but the eight carefully placed holes of varying sizes it includes are specially designed to save dentists time and money in everyday procedures, especially bonding.
"The Mini Dental Organiser is a very unique product that's taken 7 years and 50
prototypes to develop," Dr Erskine-Smith said. "It's a disposable, multi-function replacement for a dappen dish that includes several wells to hold liquids plus somewhere to put your brushes and small, fiddly bits like wedges and sectional matrices. If you have ever had to put out another drop of bond because the light set the first one, you will like this. It may look simple, but a great deal of time and thought has gone into it."
Each of the holes in the patented MDO are designed for multiple applications so it adapts to different bonding techniques. By using black isotactic polypropylene for construction and including deep, narrow wells, it is difficult for light and air to reach materials, which prolongs ideal solvent content in volatile primers, giving better water chasing ability and a better bond, as well as extending working time, saving money and increasing efficiency.
"We started doing a lot of bonding procedures in the 80s and we'd be using tips and brushes all day," Dr Erskine-Smith said. "We'd put brushes with acid on them on the bracket table for want of a better place and there was a risk it would touch an instrument inadvertently and end up on the patient's lip. So I started working on a dappen dish which included safe brush and tip holders, and I then thought about what other 'problems' could be solved at the same time. I tried to build as much value into it as I could to make life easier.'
"One problem with existing white plastic dappen dishes is that if you put a drop of bond in one of the shallow wells, it goes hard in 2-3 minutes due to ambient room light. Over a long procedure, you need several drops. Each drop costs around 80 cents and it also wastes time as you can't prepare the bond in advance; you have to wait for the bond to be uncapped and dispensed each time you need it. It seems like a little thing but the time and motion wastage really adds up, not to mention hundreds of dollars wasted in prematurely set bond.
"By making the MDO wells deep, it blocks the light from reaching the bond. In one of our wells you get 2 hours of working time, with access for dipping instruments. In another well you can stand the brush in the well, bristles down and that acts like a loose cork. The light can't reach the bond at the bottom of the well and it literally won't gel for 2 days even under bright fluorescent light. As a result, that one drop goes a long way and your bond is always ready when you need it - with the brush primed and the handle positioned ready to pick up. It's really ergonomic and one drop of bond will easily do several Class V's over an hour or two."
Dr Erskine-Smith said that at just 39 cents, the MDO will pay for itself twice over with every drop of bond you don't need... not to mention all the other advantages.
"I must stress that each hole in the MDO is multifunctional and can adapt to your way of doing things. It's not just designed for the way I do dentistry, it's for every dentist and it's very adaptable. Regardless of the materials or techniques you use, there is a way to use the MDO.
"I had people in my own practice knock it, but once they started using it, they're addicted and there's no going back. It's a very good feeling to be organised, ergonomic and economical!"
The MDO was officially launched to the world at IDS 2009 and major distributors have been most enthusiastic. The product is CE marked and listed on the TGA's ARTG. It is disposable after each patient use and available in boxes of 100 from Erskine Dental.